Target Corp. has begun making fresh and frozen food available through its in-store Order Pickup and curbside Drive Up online grocery services.
Target said Thursday that, after successful pilots in the Twin Cities and Kansas City markets, the expanded pickup assortment will roll out to more Midwestern stores and become available at more than 400 locations by the end of the month. Plans call for over 1,500 stores to offer fresh and frozen food via pickup heading into the holiday season.
The move brings another 750 produce, dairy, bakery, meat and frozen items to the product selection for in-store and curbside pickup, according to Target. The company noted that the expansion now enables online customers to order key perishables — such as milk, bread, eggs and ice cream — along with grocery staples already available through Drive Up and Order Pickup.
“The speed and convenience of our fulfillment options are unmatched across the country, and they’ve become even more critical for our guests searching for easy and safe ways to shop during the pandemic,” Target Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said in a statement. “By adding fresh grocery to the pickup services our guests already love, we’re giving them even more reasons to shop at Target.”
Target said more than 250,000 items already are available for pickup across a range of categories, including home, apparel and daily essentials. Both Order Pickup and Drive Up are free, and no minimum order or membership is required. The retailer said pickup orders are ready within a few hours, and the Drive Up service is contactless, with orders brought to customers’ vehicles in less than two minutes. RedCard holders and Target Circle members also can apply discounts and benefits to pickup orders.
“During a time when even more people are looking for different ways to get the items they need, we’ll continue to invest in making Target the easiest and safest place to shop,” Mulligan added.
Pickup service has become a growth catalyst in Target’s burgeoning digital business. Late last month, the Minneapolis-based company reported that digital sales skyrocketed 141% for its fiscal 2020 first quarter ended May 2. During the period, sales for same-day online services — Order Pickup, Drive Up and Shipt (home delivery) — jumped 278%, representing 5 percentage points of Target’s total comparable-sales growth. Stores fulfilled nearly 80% of digital sales in the quarter.
In a conference call with analysts on the quarterly results, Mulligan noted that unit volume through Drive Up was higher in the first quarter than in all of fiscal 2019. Sales of orders shipped or picked up from stores surged almost 150%, including more than 300% for Shipt and 600% for Drive Up.
More than 5 million customers shopped on Target.com for the first time during the first quarter, including over 2 million first-timers for Drive Up service.
“One thing we’ve observed about this crisis is that it is causing an acceleration in consumer trial and adoption of digital shopping,” Mulligan said in the call. “The ability of our operations to handle this unexpected acceleration has given us even stronger conviction that we have the right model and we have ample capacity to handle continued change in the future.”
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