Nationwide retailer Target is encouraging more consumers to use the convenience of its curbside order pick-up service with the addition of a new perk: Starbucks coffee. The company announced today that customers will be able to add a Starbucks beverage or food item to their Drive Up order — a feature that will be available at the more than 1,700 Target locations that have Starbucks Cafés by this October.
The addition of Starbucks to Drive Up orders — orders where customers can remain in their car instead of having to go inside the store for a pickup order — was first announced in February 2022. At the time, the retailer said it would begin “testing” the option alongside both Drive Up pickup orders and returns. The service was then expected as part of a planned expansion in the fall of 2022. Early testers included store employees before rolling out to Target customers in the company’s hometown of Minneapolis.
Though a bit of a belated public launch, the service will likely appeal to the Target shopper who often likes to combine their coffee run with browsing the store, when shopping. Now, they’ll be able to do the same when they’re too busy to head into the store and wait in line. Plus, the perk builds on the convenience Starbucks’ own customers have already come to expect in terms of order pickups, which have been available through the Starbucks app for years.
In Target’s case, however, the Starbucks orders will be added through Target’s mobile app instead. Here, customers will be able to place their Target orders for curbside pickup, then alert the store when they’re on their way. That real-time location sharing ties into the Starbucks ordering option so the store staff knows when to begin preparing the drink orders.
Target and Starbucks first partnered in 1999 and now have a Starbucks location inside the “vast majority” of the retailer’s over 1,999 U.S. stores.
The feature follows the recent addition of curbside returns, which allows shoppers to return items at no charge at nearly all Target stores.
“Our guests have long told us Drive Up is a game-changer, adding convenience to their daily life, especially when they’re short on time,” said Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer, in an announcement of today’s news. “We’ve continued listening to our guests, who’ve told us overwhelmingly that Drive Up with Starbucks would bring even more ease and joy to every Target run. This one-of-a-kind service — available only at Target — is the latest example of how we’re innovating every day to meet the needs of our guests,” he added.
In Target’s most recent quarter, the company beat expectations on earnings and revenue, but saw only small growth in year-over-year sales, as customers gravitated more towards groceries and everyday essentials, as opposed to more discretionary items, while they watched their wallets. The company reported $25.32 billion in revenue and $2.05 earnings per share, above Wall St. forecasts of $25.29 billion and $1.76 EPS, respectively.
The addition of Starbucks to Drive Up orders could potentially lure more customers to choose Target for their everyday purchases over the competition, but it may not boost their spending or the types of purchases made in general.