NEW YORK - Target says customers want it to pause the "Christmas creep." It says it wants to be more in tune with customers' mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.
The retailer's holiday plans also include a new e-gift service, adding kiosks that focus on impulse presents mainly under $15, and launching a wallet feature to its app. It's also offering more weekend deals since shoppers do more holiday buying then.
Target is spending $7 billion over three years to remodel old stores, open small ones in cities and college towns and offer faster delivery for online orders. It's also been refreshing its store brands and trying to be more convenient to shoppers. Eight of Target's new brands will be available for the first time this holiday season.
For November, Target will keep Thanksgiving signs and displays at the entrances and its marketing will play up Thanksgiving meal preparation and entertaining for shoppers.
As it eases into the later holidays, the company is increasing weekend deals starting Nov. 11.
Target letting customers return gifts before they ship
Target's also focusing on convenience. A new service on Target's website lets people click on a GiftNow button for products to send an e-gift. That lets the recipient know, and the person can change the color or size or choose something entirely different - all before anything is shipped. In its stores, Target is adding kiosks that cater to different kinds of shoppers. They include items like fluffy slippers or beauty products.
As it works to play catch-up in some online services. Target is now shipping online orders from 1,400 stores, up from 1,000 a year ago. Fifty percent of orders shipped from stores arrive at customers' homes in two days.
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