Target pledges free shipping, a pop-up and increased security for the holidays

Target (NYSE:TGT) plans to deliver the "wow" this holiday season, according to CEO Brian Cornell. In an interview on the company's blog, A Bullseye View, Cornell discussed the brand's free shipping, first pop-up shop and added data security—all in the name of improving the holiday shopping experience.

As the holidays near, so does the one year anniversary of the company's data breach. Therefore, Target is taking steps to make sure that shopping is safe and consumers can remain confident that their information is protected.

"Data security is a top priority from my desk to the team that is on the front lines at the stores. We have bolstered our efforts in three key areas–people, technology and enhancing our process," he said.

The company's POS terminals have been updated and will begin accepting EMV cards early next year. The retailer will also introduce a chip-and-pin technology to REDcard guests early in 2015, six months ahead of schedule.

With the mindset that shopping should be easy and convenient over the holiday season, Target has announced it will offer free shipping.

"It's an easy way to eliminate one of the most common hurdles that's associated with online shopping," said Cornell. "No one likes being surprised with shipping charges when they go to check out, so a standing free shipping offer for the holidays just makes sense."

Cornell also announced the company's first pop-up store in Manhattan. In a partnership with Story, a retailer that curates new product stories every four to eight weeks, Target will contribute products that will be curated alongside other must-have gift items. Cornell called the pop-up contribution an experiment for Target, a way to see how guests react in a different environment.

Finally, Cornell spoke of Target's relaunch of its mobile and tablet apps to make browsing, building lists and navigating the store easier for customers. He explained that 75 percent of the brand's digital traffic will come from mobile over the holidays, so it was important to streamline the checkout process. He also talked about the Wish List app.

"I have watched kids explore it, and it's incredible to see how much fun they have building a list of their top toys for Santa," Cornell said. "It also makes life a little easier for parents who can secretly see, share and shop off of their kids' wish lists whenever it's convenient."

Target has been busy gearing up for the holiday season. Last week the brand announced the official opening of three Canadian stores, the last ones scheduled to open in 2014.

The company has also begun initiating brand partnerships to design exclusive collections for the season. For example, Target recently unveiled an exclusive collection of wool textiles from Faribault Woolen Mills.

For more:
-See this A Bullseye View blog

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