Are you a speed shopper or browser? New Target stores to accommodate both

The Christian Science Monitor – Years after the start of the e-commerce revolution, American shoppers don’t just want web options – they want it all online and in stores, and all at the same time. Retail giants are racing to keep up.

Whether you are in a pinch for time or have time to kill, Target wants to have a store entrance for you.

The big-box retailer plans to redesign 600 stores to offer two separate entrances, beginning this fall, it announced at an e-commerce conference in Las Vegas on Monday. One entrance will have the time-crunched customer in mind, with groceries, self-checkout aisles, and a counter for online orders all near the front. The other entrance will be built for the browser, with curved center aisles filled with home, apparel, and beauty products.

The billions of dollars Target plans to spend on this ambitious redesign is part of a trend among brick-and-mortar giants to try to keep pace with consumer demands in the age of online shopping. These retailers were slow to adapt during the dot-com era, say analysts. But as they play catch up, they are discovering the customer wants it both ways: in-store pickup when they want a product fast or don’t want to pay extra for shipping, and in-store shopping when they want to linger down aisles in their spare time.

Target, Walmart, and other traditional retailers were slow to catch on to this “omnichannel” trend, wrote Darrell Rigby, a partner at Bain & Company who heads the firm’s Global Retail practice, in a 2011 article for Harvard Business Review. At that time, wrote Mr. Rigby, online revenue accounted for less than 2 percent of revenue at Target and Walmart.

With this redesign announced Monday, it appears Target is looking to especially take advantage of in-store pickup. Click and collect allows customers to order online and pick up in stores, combining the best of both worlds: speed, quick comparisons, and the chance to reconsider an item in person.

Retailers like it because they are finding customers don’t leave their wallets in their pockets when they go to the pickup counter. During the 2015 holiday season, for instance, 69 percent of shoppers who used click and collect purchased additional items while picking it up in store, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends, as CNBC reported.

While 41 percent of retailers offered in-store pickup in 2015, 78 percent planned then to implement it within the next three years, according to a survey by Boston Retail Partners.

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