UPDATE: August 30, 2019: Target has expanded its Drive Up service for online orders to all 50 U.S. states, the retailer said in a blog post Thursday. The service, launched less than two years ago, now reaches 1,750 Target stores. The retailer said it has fulfilled 5 million drive-up orders during the first part of 2019.
Target has expanded its Drive Up curbside pick-up service throughout the Midwest and the South, making it available at 200 more stores in those regions, the company said Tuesday.
The move follows the implementation of the curbside pick-up service throughout the South and Southeast this spring. It's now available in more than 800 stores in 25 states, with more coming in late August.
In a Tuesday blog post the retailer said it's working to get the program to 1,000 stores nationwide by the holidays, a swift expansion from its Minneapolis-area pilot launched last fall.
Amazon helped set consumer expectations for immediate-as-possible delivery of online orders, but physical retailers and mass merchants have started using their stores to their benefit on that front.
Having so many stores is an advantage at a time when click-and-collect services are increasingly appealing to many U.S. consumers along with swift delivery, Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of digital solutions firm Mercatus, told Retail Dive earlier this year.
>Target customers can place orders through the Target app, choose Drive Up fulfillment and be notified that the order is ready (usually within one to two hours). Orders will be loaded into their cars "within two minutes" of arriving, according to the company.
When it comes to curbside fulfillment, Drive Up is the second try for the retailer, which had previously worked with startup Curbside at some stores in 2014. That effort came to a halt last year as Chief Technology Officer Mike McNamara scaled back a number of projects.>
Curbside wasn't the mass merchant's only last-mile play. It's continuing the rapid national roll-out of same-day shopping and delivery services through Shipt, which it acquired at the end of last year for $550 million. The retailer has also widened availability of a new service at select urban stores, where in-store customers can choose to have their purchases delivered to their homes within two hours. And Target has begun an expansion of next-day delivery consumer goods replenishment program, Target Restock, to more than two dozen markets to reach three-fourths of the U.S. population by the end of the year.