Target Makes a Big Bet on Apple

Apple and Target partnership expansion offers some freebies for customers.

Target  (TGT) – Get Target Corporation Report has been preparing for the holiday shopping season, since, well, the end of last holiday shopping season. Retailers have always put out their best deals for customers the day after Thanksgiving, and with more deals coming at customers at different times it’s hard to know when to do your shopping.

Target announced its return of Target Deal Days for a couple of days in October this year. Previously, Target Deal Days, ran against Amazon’s  (AMZN) – Get Inc. Report Prime Day in July, kind of like a Christmas in July special savings event for shoppers mid-year. Amazon ran its Amazon Prime Days July 12-13 this year, but a second round of Amazon Prime Days from Oct. 11-12 was a precursor to the holiday shopping season.

Target Deal Days in July were held July 11-13, running side by side with Amazon’s Prime Days. Target also ran a second round of Target Deal Days to compete with Amazon’s second Prime Days Oct. 6-8, beating Amazon’s deal days to the customer.

Target made some missteps in inventory management earlier this year and was left holding unwanted inventory. Target and Walmart  (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report both endured the same problem with inventory that just wouldn’t sell. Perhaps it was the slew of Little House on the Prairie dresses that, wouldn’t sell, either way. If a customer bought something that wasn’t the right size, or the customer decided that they didn’t want it, Target and Walmart made similar offers for returns and exchanges.

If a customer went to exchange something for a different color or size, and the product wasn’t selling the retailers would sometimes allow the exchange but offer the original purchase to be kept by the customer. This freed the retailers from paying staff to handle and restock inventory that likely wasn’t going to sell. This seems like a double hit to the retailers but getting the product out of the store was the best option at any cost.

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Target Wants to Bet on a Sure Thing

After inventory challenges, Target is ready to bet on something that is a sure thing, Apple  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report. Apple for holiday shopping seems like a no-brainer, so Target is going to more than double down on it. Target has tripled the number of Apple shop in shop locations, and conveniently just before the holidays hit. Target now has 150 shop in shop Apple mini stores. 

Members of the Target Circle will have special access to Apple offers from Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and iCloud+, as deals could be up to five months free. To sweeten the deal for Target Circle Members, they have an exclusive free offer of four months trial of Apple Fitness. No purchase is required for Target Circle Members to take advantage of this exclusive offer. It is also completely free to become a Target Circle member. The membership is a loyalty program from Target shoppers. 

“Apple Fitness+ is designed to be welcoming to all, no matter where you are on your fitness journey,” Jay Blahnik, Apple vice president of Fitness Technologies, said in a statement. 

Apple Fitness+ has over 3,000 workouts and meditations to choose from, with new ones added each week, ranging from five to 45 minutes across 11 workout types and all led by a team of motivating trainers, Blahnik said.

“We look forward to bringing Fitness+ to even more people and helping them lead a healthier day by being more active, through this collaboration with Target,” Blahnik said.

“For years, Target has been a destination for Apple products,” Jill Sando, Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer said in a statement. “Now we are excited to deepen our collaboration with Apple so even more guests can access the exceptional Apple at Target shop-in-shop experience.”

Shopping at the Shop in Shop

Target has Apple trained tech staff ready to assist customers as they make their purchases of Apple products like Apple Watch Ultra, Apply Watch Series 8, AirPods Pro, iPads, iPhones. Target, along with adding more Apple shop in shop locations, has also increased the retail footprint for Apple products. 

This isn’t the first time Target has launched a shop in shop offer with a retail partner. Target recently partnered up with Ulta Beauty  (ULTA) – Get Ulta Beauty Inc. Report to create a shop in shop experience for its customers. Ulta Beauty believes that offering a beauty shopping appetizer to Target customers is a great way to build its brand and loyalty with new customers. Target employees are specifically trained to be able provide service to customers shopping through the shop in shop Ulta section of Target.  

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