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Target and Dick’s Use Stores To Their Fulfillment Advantage This Holiday

In the waning time crunch before Christmas Day and as big parcel carriers strain to move a mountain of packages, some of retail’s household names are scrambling to capture every last-second sale.

While Target has extended its contactless same-day pickup and delivery options up to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve without the need for a membership, Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering same-day delivery through Instacart, with more than 150 of its 732 stores participating.

At all Target locations, orders placed before 5 p.m. on Thursday are eligible for free curbside pickup. The mass merchant also is leveraging its Shipt delivery service to get products to shoppers’ doorsteps by 5 p.m., although delivery times vary by location and shopper availability.

The contactless order pickup and drive up services offer a broad assortment across the store, ranging from gifts and décor to place settings and fresh groceries ready within hours. Same-day delivery with Shipt also offers thousands of products, including, groceries, apparel, cleaning supplies and essentials.

“Target teams across the country are ready to help guests get their last-minute items safely and easily,” Mark Schindele, chief stores officer of Target, said in a statement. “All season long, our nearly 1,900 stores have been delivering holiday joy to our guests no matter how they want to shop, and we’ve dedicated even more team members to our same-day services to make sure guests can get their online orders in plenty of time to celebrate.”

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And in partnering with Instacart, which is known largely as a grocery delivery platform but has continued to expand further into general retail, Dick’s Sporting Goods enables customers in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., to select same-day delivery on thousands of products including sporting and athletic equipment, outdoor recreation gear and apparel, footwear and accessories.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has partnered with Instacart to launch same-day delivery from more than 150 of its 732 stores.

The partnership will last beyond the holiday season, said Joe Pietropola, senior vice president of e-commerce at Dick’s Sporting Goods in a statement.

“People across the country have embraced outdoor activities this year as a way to stay active and safe, and we’ve seen a meaningful increase in demand for sporting goods across our marketplace,” added Chris Rogers, vice president of retail at Instacart. “Whether it’s a last-minute holiday gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life or new running, hiking or biking gear for your weekend activities, we’re giving Dick’s Sporting Goods customers access to all the top-quality sporting goods they need, when and where they want them.”

With The NPD Group pointing out that 18 percent of total shoppers said they are usually holiday shopping until the last minute, any changes ahead of Christmas could give retailers the extra kick they need to close out December.

Both companies have significantly invested in store-based fulfillment this year, arguably enhancing their holiday preparedness.

Target, which saw 75 percent of third quarter digital sales fulfilled by brick-and-mortar stores, doubled its parking spaces available for curbside pickup from last year, adding nearly 8,000 more spaces. Drive Up, which Target says is its highest-rated service, enables shoppers to shop for thousands of items via the Target app and have them brought directly to their cars within minutes of arriving at the store. The service saw $700 million in growth for the quarter.

The retailer also has allocated twice as many store team members on delivering same-day service than it did last year. Shipt also added 150,000 drivers this season to assist with the same-day delivery initiative. In the third quarter, sales fulfilled via Shipt increased 280 percent to approximately $200 million.

Similar to Target, Dick’s saw approximately 70 percent of its e-commerce sales fulfilled by its stores in the third quarter, with the sporting goods retailer making it a point to ramp up curbside pickup across all its stores when the pandemic forced stores to temporarily shutter. Overall, curbside and in-store pickup sales in the third quarter increased over 300 percent when compared to BOPIS sales last year, Dick’s president and director Lauren Hobart confirmed in the company’s latest earnings call.

Dick’s is Instacart’s latest partnership, following tie-ups with Walmart, Staples, Best Buy and Sephora.

In total, Instacart partners with more than 500 national, regional and local retailers across North America to deliver from nearly 40,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

And although it is not optimizing last-minute fulfillment at the full scale of Target and Dick’s, Nordstrom has expanded the use of these services in the New York City area for the first time. This year, NYC customers can leverage curbside pickup, ship to store, expedited shipping and same-day delivery in the stores through Dec. 24. All stores will be open on Christmas Eve for online order pickup.

Same-day delivery costs $20, and orders placed by 4 p.m. will be delivered by 8 p.m. Nordstrom also launched curbside returns earlier this month.