Shopping at Target Will Be Different A Year From Now

Target has laid out future store changes, including a focus on grocery and customer service:

It will be easier, less frustrating and more convenient, executives said a meeting with analysts here Wednesday. Starting a shopping trip through Target’s app or online and finishing it in a store will become more seamless, with text notifications when online orders for in-store pickup are ready and dedicated areas of the store for these orders. Online orders will ship faster, as Target transitions more of its physical stores to double as fulfillment centers.

Those capabilities are part of a plan laid out by Target executives to become the ultimate one-stop grocery, apparel and home destination for American families as it continues a transformation to become a more digitally-focused, personalized and reliable retailer.

The company will test more personalized customer service and better inventory management that will keep shelves more consistently in stock. Store floor space will be reorganized to highlight merchandise in more appealing ways. Target is rolling out more premium products in home, beauty and apparel.

Customers can also expect major changes in Target’s grocery selection, where CEO Brian Cornell, addressing analysts at a meeting here, said the company “will transform virtually every element of the business.” That means more organic products, fresh produce and less concentration in middle-of-the-store dry goods.

All of these transformations are part of Target’s bid to grow sales by 1.5% to 2.5% this year and by at least 3% annually in 2017, while reducing costs with more back-end efficiency in technology and the company’s supply chain.

The stores aren’t meant to be glorified convenience shops, said Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan. “This isn’t a stop and go pick up some food,” he said. “It’s really about bringing the totality of Target to that neighborhood.”

Another change in the pipeline: a simplified loyalty program aimed at attracting more customers than currently take part in Target’s coupon app Cartwheel or REDCard credit and debit card. Target has been testing a separate program called REDPerks in North Carolina that rewards customers based on a point system for dollars spent.

[Read More From Hadley Malcolm at USA TODAY Here…]

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