Target shutting down curbside pickup

Target (NYSE:TGT) is quitting its tests of curbside pickup, even as many retailers are expanding the practice. The pilot program will end on June 15.

The program was administered through a partnership with Curbside and was first tested in October 2014 in the San Francisco market. Target later expanded the pilot in stages to other areas in California as well as to New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia.

But now the program is being shut down, Target confirmed in an emailed statement to Consumerist. The company had learned a lot from the pilot, it said, but "as we've shared for months now, at this time Target is focused on making sure we deliver and execute on retail fundamentals."

That includes building out online fulfillment options, including shipping from stores and in-store pickup. Dedicated pick-up locations in stores are being rolled out and the company is developing and testing new technology to help with inventory tracking and order fulfillment, including the use of RFID and robotics in stores and having team members dedicated to picking and packing online orders.

The Curbside program will be discontinued in mid-June.

Curbside has expanded its partnerships with other retailers, some direct competitors and some more complementary. In April, CVS Health partnered with and invested in Curbside to service its new CVS Express business, a digital solution that lets shoppers make in-app mobile purchases which are then brought to their car outside the store. 

Target has its own unique relationship with CVS, having sold its in-store pharmacy business to the company. All pharmacies and MinuteClinics are being rebranded with the CVS banner. Curbside could potentially make an appearance outside Target stores to provide fulfillment for prescription customers.

For more:
- see this Consumerist story