After pulling the plug on a vendor pilot program last year, Target is testing its own internal app for curbside pickup in Minneapolis, using associates to kick the tires on its performance before rolling it out to customers.
“Target is testing a service where orders placed online for pickup at the store can be brought out to guests in their cars,” said Target spokesman Eddie Baeb. “The test launched this month and is currently open to Target team members at three Minneapolis-area stores.”
Baeb said the curbside pickup service will be expanded to other stores in the Minneapolis area. “We hope to make the service guest-facing in the coming months,” he said. For now the program is limited to shelf staples and other products eligible for its in-store pickup service. Competitor Walmart’s curbside program is focused on grocery items.
Target had been using a company called, appropriately, Curbside as part of a pilot curbside pickup program at 121 stores in five major markets, but suspended it in June 2016 after a 22-month test. The company did not have specifics on the results of the pilot with Curbside, and at the time was reevaluating its technology investments.
Taking an internal approach allows Target to control and operate the entire experience to make sure it best meets the needs of its customers.
Last month Target began testing a next-day home delivery service of household items called Target Restock, similar to Amazon’s Prime Pantry program, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Target is also testing a same-day delivery service from one of its stores in Manhattan.