Target will hand you a Starbucks coffee with your curbside pickup order

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- Delivery is a shopper's dream — but it's an expensive hassle for businesses, even for mega-corporations like Target. So stores are trying to entice shoppers to split the baby: Come to the store and someone will deliver the items ... to your car.

To persuade customers to do that, Target is sweetening its curbside pickup offering. Beginning this fall, the retailer will begin testing an option at select locations to add a Starbucks order for customers picking up items or making a return — without having to leave their car. Target said the changes were prompted by more customers using the contact-less shopping option, which grew 60% in its most recent quarter.

Adding a Starbucks order to curbside pickups has been a "top request" from customers, Target said. The retailer has a decades-long licensing partnership with Starbucks allowing it to run branded coffee shops within its stores.

To use the new feature, shoppers planning a pick up or return can place a Starbucks order in the Target app and indicate when they're "on their way" to ensure a fresh drink or food item. A Target employee will deliver the Starbucks order and Target items to the customers' car. The option is also available to customers completing returns through the Target app.

Another feature Target is testing is expanding its "backup item" options on order pickups, which offers customers the ability to choose a secondary item if their first choice isn't available, beyond food and beverage orders. Since it's been in use, Target has "successfully substituted backup items 98% of the time."

Target has expanded curbside services in recent months, including letting customers pick up alcohol, adding a "shopping partner" feature that allows someone else to pickup a shopper's order and expanded its partnership with same-day delivery service Shipt.

In its most recent earnings, Target pointed out that adding these services has expanded sales more then ten-fold since 2019, amounting to $1.4 billion in the third quarter 2021 alone.

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