Target To Test Curbside Returns and Starbucks

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Target teams have successfully substituted backup items 98% of the time since rollout, the company said. Credit: Target.

Target runs are about to get even easier.

Target said last summer it would like to add the ability to do returns to its curbside service and now the retailer confirms it will offer the new feature this fall, along with the option to add Starbucks to curbside orders.

The retailer will begin testing the option in select markets to add a Starbucks order or make a return within Target’s free, contactless curbside service through the Target mobile app. Target will also expand its “backup item” functionality in even more categories.

When the new Starbucks feature becomes available, shoppers will indicate they’re “on their way” to the store via the Target app and will have the option to place an order from the Starbucks menu. Upon arrival, a Target Drive Up team member will deliver their full order to the car. Similarly, for the return process, shoppers will be able to initiate a return via the Target app and complete it at the Drive Up lane. According to Target, when the retailer surveyed shoppers, placing a Drive Up order for Starbucks was a top request. 

With expanded “backup item” functionality, shoppers will be able to select from a wider assortment of categories — including beauty and household essentials — to designate secondary backup items for their Drive Up and Order Pickup orders, in the event their first-choice items are unavailable. In the months since the option rolled out for food and beverage orders, Target teams have successfully substituted backup items 98% of the time, the company said.

These latest enhancements will build on Target’s strategy of using the company’s nearly 2,000 stores as fulfillment hubs. As the company’s digital business has more than doubled during the last two years, Order Pickup, Drive Up and Same-Day Delivery with Shipt have accounted for more than half of those 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. “Adding a Starbucks order and easy returns, while expanding our backup item options, will give guests even more of what they love about shopping at Target, quickly and easily. Ongoing investments in our same-day services have built trust and relevance with our guests, while meeting their needs — no matter how they choose to shop.”

The ability to make returns and add a Starbucks order via Drive Up add to the growing list of innovations in same-day services Target implemented last year. Other added functionalities include Adult Beverage pickup; “Shopping Partner” — a feature that allows shoppers to send someone else to pick up their Drive Up or Order Pickup order; and “Forgot Something” — which allows shoppers to order forgotten items after a Drive Up or Order Pickup order has been placed.