Target delivers human and tech assets to aid holiday shoppers

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Target delivers human and tech assets to aid holiday shoppers

By Dan Berthiaume - 10/23/2019

Target Corp. is bulking up on store staff and omnichannel services for the holidays.

The discount titan is adding nearly $50 million in payroll compared to the 2018 holiday season in an effort to ensure more store associates are available to assist customers during peak hours, such as nights and weekends. Target is also doubling the number of store associates dedicated to fulfillment, including same-day services, so customers can get their orders in as soon as an hour. 

In addition, Target has invested more than 500,000 more hours in training compared to 2018 to ensure its store associates are prepared to deliver customer service during the holiday season. As part of a broader workforce initiative, Target has invested in training, payroll and specialty roles for store associates at its more than 1,800 locations nationwide. The effort has been designed to create specialized roles for its more than 300,000 store associates, who now are assigned to a specific department like beauty or electronics, or service like fulfillment.

Members of the Target Circle loyalty program, which rolled out nationwide on Oct. 6, will receive special holiday perks such as early access to select Black Friday doorbusters, kids daily deals from Nov. 1-Nov. 27, and special deals throughout the season on holiday items including apparel and TVs. Target says that 25 million customers are now enrolled in Target Circle.

On the omnichannel side, for the first time, Target has scaled same-day fulfillment services including drive-up, order pickup, and delivery with Shipt, across the country for the holiday season. New for the holiday shopping period, Shipt is available directly from Target.com and soon will be available directly from the Target app. Shipt same-day delivery is available from 1,500 stores in 48 states.

Target is also making free shipping available to all customers for the holidays, with orders arriving as early as the next day. Beginning Nov. 1, all Target customers can access free shipping on hundreds of thousands of items, with no minimum purchase or membership required. The retailer will offer free shipping through Dec. 21.

In addition, this holiday season, Target will offer a curated assortment of only-at-Target brands such as Hearth & Hand, partnerships with national brands like Disney https://chainstoreage.com/disney-goes-live-target-stores and Levi's, and an expanded assortment of more than 10,000 toys in store and online, including exclusives from upcoming Disney films “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars.”

Other omnichannel holiday offerings include Wondershop, an in-store and online one-stop destination for tree-trimming needs. First introduced in 2016, Wondershop will now feature an option to purchase complete looks with one click on Target.com, enabling customers to get everything they need to trim their trees or new this year, decorate their mantels, delivered to their door.

Target's is also providing a curated assortment of more than 1,500 unique gifts, most available for less than $15, in stores and online beginning the second week of November.

"Last year was our most successful holiday in more than a decade, and that momentum has continued with industry-leading results throughout 2019,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell. “Our strategy is paying off, and heading into the holidays, our investments and unmatched focus on service will make it easier for guests to shop on their terms, save and experience the joy of the season."