Target Rolling Out Curbside Returns This Fall

Target curbside pickup

Do you want a vanilla latte too, or are you just dropping off that toy your kid didn’t like?

Target said it is offering curbside returns in select markets starting this fall, as well as the opportunity to grab a Starbucks beverage while you’re at it.

The red target retailer said customers can use the Target app to set up a curbside return and/or grab a mocha java or similar caffeinated drink.

Target uses nearly all of its 2,000 stores as fulfillment hubs, either through curbside or store pickup or to fill same-day delivery orders, which together account for more than half its ecommerce sales.

“Our guests continue to tell us they love the ease and convenience of Drive Up, and they have been asking us to add even more of the Target experience to the service,” said Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer.

Target is also expanding so-called “backup item” functionality to other categories such as beauty and household essentials. It allows shoppers to opt for a secondary item in case their first choice isn’t in stock. In the months since offering backup items for food and beverage orders, Target said it has been able to successfully substitute items 98% of the time.

The company said it has tripled the number of workers handling fulfillment of curbside and same-day delivery orders over the past two years, adding backup training in these tasks for all new store associates.

While the big-box retailer has been killing it in digital the past few years, getting ahead of the curve and investing billions in supply chain and omnichannel initiatives, consumers apparently aren’t as keen on it for e-grocery ordering. In a January survey by Chicory, it came out tied for third in terms of the most popular destination, cited by 10% of respondents, the same as Instacart. Walmart was the winner at 36%, followed by Amazon at 23%.