Target Needs Your Trust

Written by Jennifer Clark
Posted May 27, 2020

As more and more states and businesses begin the first steps of reopening, there is a lot to consider with the virus still wreaking havoc and no vaccine to reduce the risk of people contracting it. 

We are living in a society that’s taking a risk to return to “normal.” For many restaurants, stores, and other businesses, it would be impossible to stay afloat if states remained on lockdown. It’s been close to three months, and at the beginning of the year, no business took three months of being shut down into account in their budgeting. None of them would have thought that they would have to figure out a new way to bring their business to customers online or curbside. 

Here in Baltimore, I’ve seen some small businesses flourish as they've figured out ways to bring their products and services to customers in the safest way possible. A few local doughnut shops have enabled customers to pre-order for the week or weekend and then schedule curbside pick up times, which has seemed very useful and probably brought on more business. 

Now there’s a demand, and people want to pre-order before the doughnuts sell out and they have to wait until next weekend. Rather than those businesses depending on customers coming in whenever they want and maybe not buying anything because the item doesn’t appeal to them, with pre-order, they're committed and have sent the business money ahead of time. 

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Moving Forward...

Target (NYSE: TGT) has remained open throughout this pandemic: it's an essential business. At the very beginning of the lockdown, Target and other essential businesses needed to reassure the public that it was safe to come into their stores and buy products and that products shipped from warehouses would be safe. These companies had to put their employees in harm’s way and also make sure that they were taking every precaution to make sure their employees were safe. Some companies were even pressured to start paying their employees more money because they were at risk. 

And now with the country and states slowly reopening, Target wants to ensure that they still have safety at the forefront of their business. Before the pandemic, the company wanted to be seen as a place that had the best merchandise at a great price. But now, one of the top priorities for Target is making sure its stores are safe. 

Target’s chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell, said:

Safety is going to be more and more important. We want to make sure we’re coupling being the easiest place to shop in America with being the safest place to shop.

Any type of feedback that could show Target being unsafe could destroy a company. If you visited a Target store since all of this started, then you probably noticed that the company has measured out spaces for customers to stand while waiting in line so that they are maintaining social distancing. 

They also added greeters at each checkout lane to make sure that social distancing is being followed and that the lines run smoothly. Along with other retail and grocery stores, Target has added Plexiglass partitions to registers with human cashiers and ramped up efforts to support their contactless delivery and pickup for online orders.

All of this has cost Target around $500 million. Cornell said:

The investments we’ve made to make sure when you come into Target store you feel safe, we’re going to continue to make those investments in safety and we’re going to put a premium on building trust. I think part of what we saw during the first few months of the pandemic is America putting their trust in Target. We want to continue to build that trust no matter what the circumstances are over the next few months and the next few years to make sure we are one of the most trusted places in America where you can shop.

Things have changed, and customers and the public have more concerns than just buying things at the right price. They still want to get their shopping done in one place, but they also want to go to a place where it’s safe and patronize a company that actually cares about their health and safety. As long as this virus is still around and there’s no vaccine, customers have priorities and they don’t want to feel like just another dollar sign to a massive corporation. And because Target continues to show that it cares about its guests this will take the company into a prosperous future.

Until next time, 

Jennifer Clark
Pro Trader Today
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