Target rolls out drive-up returns for Phoenix-area customers

Target is rolling out a new way to make shopping more convenient with drive-up returns, and it's coming to the Phoenix area this week.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 2:34 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Target is rolling out a new way for customers to make returns. Beginning this week, shoppers in the Phoenix area can make returns using Target’s drive-up service.

The company expects drive-up returns to be available at all of its locations nationwide by the end of the summer. “Allowing our guests to process a return from the comfort of their car underscores our commitment to helping our guests shop and return however they choose,” said Mark Schindele, the company’s executive vice president and chief stores officer.

It’s the latest move among retailers to make shopping more convenient as consumers face inflation and companies feel the pressure to compete for business. “The whole idea of making returns easy for the customer is creating brand loyalty,” said Hitendra Chaturvedi, a supply chain management professor at Arizona State University. “Giving a great customer return experience is just the bare minimum to be in the game these days.”

Chaturvedi says others are making returns even easier than a drive-up drop-off. “Many of the ecommerce companies today are allowing you to have somebody to come to your doorstep and pick up a return,” he said. “And you’re going to see many other stores and many other retailers follow this example because as the economy slows down, you’re going to see many of the retailers and brands trying to do innovative things to increase the sales and to increase margins. One surefire, tested way to do this has been giving a great return policy.”

Nordstrom says it handles every return on a case-by-case basis. Patagonia doesn’t have a time limit for returns. Neither does Costco for most products. Target expanded its return policy, so items that are store-owned brands can be returned up to a year after they were purchased. “The reason why most of the retailers create private label is because one, they have more control over the supply chain. Second, their profit margins are much higher,” Chaturvedi said. “The whole strategy of moving towards private label is that they have enough margin to give a very attractive return policy to keep customers coming in again and again and again and these retailers making a lot more money.”