Target announces changes for shoppers – NBC Chicago
Target hopes to make some changes for shoppers.
After announcing another quarterly earnings decline on Wednesday, the company issued a prudent sales and earnings outlook for the current period, citing some upcoming changes to counter them.
The Minneapolis company faces rising costs, including more theft as a major factor, and consumers who have become more cautious about their spending.
So what does this mean for buyers?
With an emphasis on messages
Apparently that could mean a greater emphasis on messages.
Officials told CNBC that the Minneapolis-based retailer hopes to become more of a food and beverage destination.
“It’s basically a gateway to the rest of the store,” Food and Beverage Manager Rick Gomez said in an interview. “It drives traffic to the store. It directs traffic to our site. And then as they pick up what they need in terms of food and drink, they browse the rest of the store and maybe buy a few things at Ulta (Beauty at Target) or a few clothing things.”
The company said it added more items to its Good & Gather grocery brand, as well as its Favorite Day line of snacks and desserts.
But what does this mean for prices?
“In hard times and you’re paying check for check, you can’t afford to buy food that no one is eating,” Gomez said. “So it’s very important for us to provide value that is good value, but also very good quality.”
Target said the theft hurt its bottom line and expects associated losses could be $500 million higher than last year, when losses from theft were estimated at $700 million to $800 million. That means losses could exceed $1.2 billion this year. The company said it also saw an increasing number of violent incidents in stores but was unwilling to close stores and expanded security and locked some items.
Retailers are being hit by a wave of thefts and, in some cases, store closures and location removals due to massive losses, some related to criminal gangs. The issue has gained more attention in recent years as high-profile shoplifting and flash mob thefts have gained national attention.
“We are making significant investments in strategies to prevent this from happening in our stores and to protect our customers and team,” the company said in a statement. “We are also focused on managing the financial impact on our business so we can keep our stores open, knowing they create local jobs and provide easy access to essential products.”
Returns and renovations
Given this competitive environment, Target continues to invest in stores and online.
The discounter said in early March it plans to invest up to $5 billion this year to expand customer service, including a returns delivery service, renovations of 175 stores and store improvements. online.
Target stocks were up about 1% at the opening bell.
Earlier this year, Target announced plans to “launch or expand more than 10 of its own brands, providing customers with thousands of new, differentiated products at incredible prices.”
The company said it will be offering more items starting at $3, $5, $10 and $15, in addition to improved promotions and changes to the Target Circle loyalty program.
Back by car
Target Drive-up Returns launched earlier this month at Target stores in the Chicago area.
“Our journey to expand our fulfillment options begins with making it easier for our customers to shop with us,” Mark Schindele, Target’s executive vice president and chief stores officer, said in a statement. “That is why we are launching Drive Up Returns. Enabling our customers to process a return from the comfort of their car underscores our commitment to helping our customers shop – and return – the way they want.
Buyers may return most new, unopened items free of charge from their vehicle within 90 days of purchase. However, the delay can be up to a year for Target-owned brands.
By June, the offering will be available in nearly 2,000 Target stores nationwide.
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