Target announced today that it is expanding its Order Pickup and Drive Up services for fresh and frozen groceries nationwide. These services will be available in 400 stores by the end of this month and will hit 1,500 stores by the holidays this year.
According to the press announcement, 750 items across produce, dairy, bakery, meat and frozen products (so it doesn’t seem like you can order everything from Target’s grocery section). Orders will be ready for pickup just a few hours after being placed, and there is no extra charge for using the pickup services.
Techcrunch writes that Target won’t be using Shipt, the logistics company it acquired a few years back, for fulfillment. Instead, Target employees will pick and pack the groceries and hand them off.
Having a contactless curbside pickup program is table stakes anymore during this pandemic, as many people still look to avoid actually going in to grocery stores. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted a study from Nielsen that found grocery pickup sales are up 81 percent since the beginning of the year. Retailers like Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons are carving out more space for curbside pickups, and Walmart, in particular has a geofenced system so it knows when you arrive.
Having tried curbside pickup from a number of different retailers over the past couple of months, Target’s was always the most frustrating. Some items were available for Drive Up service, while others were only available for in-store pickup — or only available if you shopped in the store yourself. This patchwork of availability made creating some unified e-commerce order across their entire store a mess.
Hopefully this rollout will smooth out these inconsistencies and create another nationwide option for online grocery shoppers who want curbside pickup.