Target on Wednesday announced the extension of consumer return policy on selected items to one year, effective immediately. The policy overs 32 of Target’s exclusive brands including items for wedding, baby and college gift registries.
The goodwill gesture comes after the company laid off 1,700 employees, caused by the closure of Canada Target stores. Chief merchandising and supply chain officer Kathee Tesija stated that the enhanced return policy offered convenience to consumers and promised additional quality of owned and exclusive brands. The retailers temporary design collections have been excluded from the policy including Lilly Pulitzer collection that is set to launch on April 19. Currently, the excluded design collections have a 13-day return period.
“Target is looking to gain consumer’s trust after the breach,” said Edgar Dworsky of Consumerworld.org.
Dworsky mentioned that it was reminiscent of Costco’s return policy. He indicated that consumers are not likely to be attracted by the longer return period though it will increase the retailer’s goodwill. According to NPD, less than 5 percent of consumers take advantage of return policies put up by Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Terms of the extended return policy is similar to the current 90-day period which mentions that the purchase can be verified via debit or credit card, in case the receipt was lost.
Target spokeswoman Erika Winkels stated that the retailer will be more accommodating in accepting returns without receipts on store items. Recently, the retailer cut its minimum free-shipping limit by half, which meant products worth $25 or more were eligible for free shipping. The decision was aimed at keeping in pace with competitors like eBay, Amazon and Google and can also have their orders shipped for free to Target stores. Last month, the company announced that it would look for other ways to get orders delivered to customers and stores faster.