The eighth-largest retail chain in the country with 1,900 stores coast to coast, Minneapolis-based Target is bankrolling a $5 billion investment in its stores, healthful and affordable food, online shopping, and pickup and delivery capacity.
As part of its 2022 investment in customer services, Target is changing and updating quite a lot about its business model and its stores. Read on below to find out what will be different the next time you make a Target run.
New store openings, remodeling existing stores continues
There's a Target store within 10 miles of most households in America, but the company notes that there's room for more: 30 to be exact in 2022. These new stores will range from mid-size in suburban neighborhoods to "small-format" stores in city centers. The company says the goal is to add more "flexibility to meet community needs."
Small-format stores are about one-third the size of a full, 40,000-square-foot Target store. Some are as small as 12,000 square feet. They are designed to appeal to students and people living in densely populated urban centers, like Manhattan.
The company is also continuing to remodel existing stores and plans to update 200 more this year. The updating includes brighter lighting and more prominent merchandise displays. Target will also add more space and pickup areas to help speed the process for its growing number of online orders.
Continued emphasis on healthful, affordable food and discontinuing some
Offering healthful food that all shoppers can afford is important to Rick Gomez, Target's chief food and beverage officer. Referring to Target's new Good & Gather brand, Gomez told the Minneapolis StarTribune that the products reflect the company's commitment to "high-quality ingredients, great taste and affordability."
Launched in 2019, Good & Gather is now a $2 billion brand. The popularity of the plant-based food line, according to Gomez, is based on shoppers "looking for more healthy and sustainable options."
Most recently, Target launched another in-house brand, Favorite Day, a collection of sweet and savory treats. Target phased out Archer Farms and Simply Balanced.
Strengthening same-day pickup services — and adding Starbucks
Thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, Target's same-day fulfillment services have expanded 400% since 2019, which represents more than half of the company's overall $13 billion digital growth.
Target plans to continue enhancing same-day pickup, announcing the addition of new Drive Up services sure to please: Starbucks Café orders and easy returns, with no pickup-time window or membership fee required.
Target is also investing in its "sortation" centers — the place where orders are packed and sorted for delivery to shoppers by Shipt and other delivery partners. Building on the pilot center in Minneapolis, Target has added sortation centers in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Another five are opening in the near future.
Adding SNAP for online shopping
Target plans to continue investing in technology to make online shopping more relevant and personalized — and the planned enhancements to its website this year will allow shoppers on Target.com to buy Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-eligible grocery items.
SNAP shoppers are also eligible for free Drive Up and Order Pickup services.
New hourly wages and expanded health care
In 2017, Target vowed to raise its hourly minimum wage to $15 which it did in 2019. This year it is upping the ante by announcing a new starting wage that ranges between $15 and $24, based on regional cost of living.
Target will also expand access to health care benefits, including providing health care for employees working 25 hours a week, down from 30; reducing the enrollment waiting period from three to nine months, depending on the employee's position; and adding benefits such as physical therapy, enhanced fertility services, and other wellness offerings at no cost.
Before your next shopping trip, note The Best Healthy Foods to Buy at Target, Dietitians Say.