By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Returns are an essential part of the retail experience, and some stores have remarked that having in-store returns for online orders has increased their business. It's with this in mind, likely, that Target has chosen to change their return policy on all of their owned and exclusive brands, and extend the return window from 90 days to a full year, making it one of the most generous in the retail industry. Target issued a press release for the announcement on March 18, and also included the customers of the retailer's baby, college, and wedding gift registries in the extended return window. The policy is now in effect at all of Target's retail locations.
Target guests who make a purchase of an item from the retailer's inventory of owned and exclusive-brand names can now bring their receipt to their local Target store for a full refund, one year after the initial purchase date. This is a substantial increase over Target's previous 90-day limit. Brands applicable to the new one-year return policy include Archer Farms, AVA & VIV, Boots & Barkley, C9 Champion, Chefmate, Cherokee, Circo, Durabuilt, Designed/Distributed by Target (Holiday, Easter, Halloween, etc. seasonal products), Embark, Fieldcrest, Gilligan & O’Malley, Kid Made Modern, Liz Lange, Merona, Mossimo, Mossimo Supply Co., Nate Berkus, ProSpirit, Pure Energy, Room Essentials, Shaun White, Simply Balanced, Smith & Hawken, Sonia Kashuk, Spritz, Sutton & Dodge, Threshold, up & up, Wine Cube, Xhilaration and Yoobi” according to Target's press release. The applicable items represent nearly all of Target's merchandise categories, including apparel, seasonal, baby, beauty, home décor and more.
Target has also added a benefit for their REDcard holders, and effective immediately, purchases made with a REDcard have an additional 30 days for returns or exchanges. In addition to extending the return window on their merchandise categories for in-store purchases, the retailer also enhanced the return options for guests who use any Target's registries, allowing them to return most items that are new and unopened and were purchased off a Target registry. To complete the return, Target will only require a gift receipt or a Gifts Purchased List printed in-store or online by the customer. For new moms or brides, the new registry return window will allow them to get an unwanted or duplicate gift returned easily within their busy schedule.
Target has quoted their commitment to not only customer service, but quality of their products as a reason for the change. “At Target, we’re putting our guests first and are committed to offering a shopping experience that’s inspiring and rooted in ease,” says Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer for Target. “Our enhanced return policy offers our guests convenience we think they’ll appreciate, while providing additional assurance of the quality of owned and exclusive brands found only at Target.”
The retail industry has seen several significant moves by Target thus far, including undercutting their competitors by lowering a minimum purchase amount for free shipping on Target.com to $25. Earlier this month, the retailer announced they would be focused on expanding their most profitable merchandise categories, including beauty, baby, and health, to provide more merchandise for guests. A cost-cutting measure is now underway as Target restructures at the corporate level to invest their savings into technology and improving the customer experience.