As part of a national rebranding effort, Target will be adding a “pick-up zone” at its Universal Drive store this year.
“The idea is that you wouldn’t really have to leave your car. Someone would just be able to come and put this in your car, close the door, and you can drive away,” said Dean Apostoleris, who was representing the applicant, Target, at the May 6 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The 200 Universal Drive North store was approved to convert six current parking spots towards the front of the parking lot into four pick-up zones. The area will have a beacon sign for customers to identify it.
The idea is a customer would make an order online or via the Target app, which would notify the store. The store then notifies the customer when the order is ready, and the employees will get an alert when the customer is at the stall ready for pick-up.
“With increased demands for online shopping, as well as store pick-up, Target wants to stay ahead of the edge of their so called 'retail apocalypse' and bring customers into their stores,” Apostoleris said.
Commission members voiced some concerns regarding the safety of employees “scurrying” around the parking lot to get to the vehicles, and what the beacon sign would look like.
Apostoleris said the safety of customers and employees is “first and foremost” on the company’s mind, and proceeded to show the commission a mapped-out potential route an employee would take to deliver the goods.
Land Use Administrator Alan Fredricksen said he can imagine the benefits of the new service coming into play for products like TV’s, which could be hard to transport, and for getting the best prices.
“The benefit I guess, for the consumer in part, is that some deals are offered online that aren't offered in-store,” Fredricksen said.
Apostoleris said Target estimates about a 7-minute turnaround per car and plans to have the location of the parking lot loading zone consistent across stores.
Target expects to have this new feature at most stores by the end of the year. Check the Target app for participating locations.
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