Though currently at the height of summer shopping season, Target (TGT -0.18%) is already looking forward to autumn, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays in its latest retail update. The major chain is responding to the ongoing coronavirus hazards by adding 20,000 items across multiple categories to the list of those available for delivery, curbside pickup, and other zero-contact or limited-contact shopping methods. It also plans to close all its stores on Thanksgiving Day to reduce crowding.
Target notes that it already has "dozens" of safety protocols to make transmission of the coronavirus much less likely. But it is also planning more steps for later in the year, with CEO Brian Cornell noting "a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we're continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value, and the joy of the season."
Target has already started offering grocery pickup at more than 400 Midwestern locations and continues to expand the program. It said in its latest press release that the 20,000 items slated for pickup availability will soon include not only fresh and frozen groceries and similar essentials, but also gifts "and everything in between."
The retailer says it intends to start holiday-savings pricing early this year as well, beginning in October rather than later in the fall or early winter. It says that the extended shopping season is meant to reduce crowding in stores for greater health and safety. The company also says its stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and it urged customers to shop at other times, noting that they can benefit from savings without long lines.