Target (TGT 0.93%) has been one of the retailers on the front lines of keeping Americans supplied during the coronavirus pandemic. The chain has steadily made changes to how it operates and it has taken more steps to protect both employees and customers.

What is Target doing?

CEO Brian Cornell laid out a number of changes in how the company will operate its stores in an open letter. This starts with having a worker at the front of its stores cleaning carts and adding signage at checkout aisles to encourage customers to maintain a safe distance.

"Our checklanes will be cleaned after each guest transaction, and dedicated team members will guide guests in line while that happens," he wrote. "For the foreseeable future, our stores will rotate the use of our checklanes to allow those not in use to be deep-cleaned."

A person loads a driveup order at Target.

Target offers grocery pickup. Image source: Target.

Target will also pause accepting returns for three weeks. Cornell added that customers should not worry because "if you have a return that expires during that period because we'll still honor them three weeks past the holding period."

The retailer will also stop sales of reusable bags and ask customers that bring them to bag their own groceries. Paper and plastic bags will be available at checkout.

Smart steps for safety

Target remains a critical lifeline for customers who need food and basic supplies. Taking these steps, along with the ones the company has already made, allows the retailer to stay open. That's crucial for people who need food, milk, and other basics to simply survive the next few weeks.