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Target's Holiday Strategy Aims at Both COVID-19 Safety and Strong, Contactless Sales

By Rhian Hunt – Sep 24, 2020 at 4:32PM

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Research data backs up some of the discount retailer's moves.

Target Corporation (TGT 0.10%) described its holiday shopping season preparations in a press release today, noting its intention to hire more workers and its plans for allocating labor to match new shopping patterns. The retailer also noted the safety measures it's using during the 2020 holiday

Target successfully responded to the pandemic's earlier challenges, with its share price spiking to record-setting levels following the inevitable March drop. With second-quarter comparable sales, or comps, jumping more than 24% year over year and its Dividend Aristocrat status still unbroken after racking up its 48th consecutive year of unbroken dividend growth, Target's ability to thrive in chaotic, uncertain times makes it a favorite pick among some investors

Curbside pickup concept art with a red-handled shopping cart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Target says it plans to hire more store employees for the holiday season, with starting pay set at $15 per hour. It also intends to assign twice as many employees to contact-free order pickup services. The teams will also handle digital orders placed online through Target's e-commerce channels.

Research indicates Target may be homing in on the bullseye with its announced shift to focusing support on digital orders and pickup. A privately held app research firm, App Annie, has crunched the data on shopping habits emerging during 2020's COVID-19 outbreak. It now predicts that during the fourth quarter of 2020, Americans will spend 1 billion hours using shopping apps, a 50% year-over-year surge. Additionally, analysis by Digital Commerce 360 indicates curbside pickup grew 43.7% among top U.S. retailers in August 2020.

For customers who still plan to shop in-store, Target has also given its sales teams 400,000 hours of health-safety training, greatly increased disinfection, plans on continuing social distancing, and will hand out masks to shoppers who arrive without them.

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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