NORTH HAVEN — As part of a national rebranding effort, Target will be adding drive-up service at stores this summer.
“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 represented Target at the May 6 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in North Haven.
The 200 Universal Dr. North store was approved to convert six current spots toward the front of the parking lot into four drive-up zones.
The new feature will be in place at most stores by the end of the year. The Target app lists the service as currently unavailable at the Meriden and Southington store locations.
An employee at the Meriden store said drive-up service was expected to be up and running in June.How it works
To use the service, customers make a purchase through the Target app, which notifies the store. The store then notifies the customer when the order is ready, and the employees get an alert when the customer is at the stall ready for pickup. A beacon sign will indicate drive-up areas in the parking lot.
“With increased demands for online shopping, as well as store pickup, 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 the customer 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.7-minute turnaround
Land Use Administrator Alan Fredricksen said he can imagine the benefits of the new service coming into play for products like TV’s, that are large and 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 seven minute turnaround per car and plans to have the location of the loading zone in the parking lot consistent across stores.