Target Is Relaxing This One Major Coronavirus Safety Policy
Essential businesses like Target roll back restrictions to help offset the cost of staying open.
Much of the country began to shutdown in the middle of March because of the coronavirus pandemic. And by the beginning of April, stores, restaurants, and other businesses had closed down as states started to issue stay-at-home orders. However, after months of lockdown, businesses have started to reopen—and for the most, instituting stringent safety precautions as they do so. Though, on the other end of the spectrum are essential businesses like Target, which remained open throughout the pandemic, but has now started relaxing certain coronavirus safety policies.
According to CNN, Target has ended their pandemic return policy and returned to their normal, pre-COVID policy of accepting returns within 90 days of purchase. Back in March, the retail giant announced that it would "stop accepting in-store product returns and exchanges" for three weeks. However, the company ended up extending the time frame, and anyone who had items with a return date between March 26 and April 26 were given until June 15 to return their items.
"We made the decision to begin accepting returns again given the dozens of safety measures that are now in place," a Target spokesperson told CNN. "We set merchandise aside for three days before it would go back on the floor for resale."
The brand's return policy isn't the only change either. While Business Insider reported earlier this year that all licensed Starbucks stores within Targets were shutting down starting March 23 and Target's website still says the cafes are closed, CNN reported that some have started to reopen.
"[Target is taking] a careful market-by-market approach, and in some cases store-by-store, to ensure we prioritize the health and safety of our team and guests," the brand's spokesperson told CNN. Currently, reopened Starbucks within Target stores only offer drinks and other items to go, and they "follow all of the current safety measures within [the] stores."
Target is just one of a several retails chains returning to pre-pandemic policies. Grocery stores are doing so as well—for example, Kroger has decided to return to normal stores hours and Costco has eased restrictions on the number of people members are allowed to bring inside the store, CNN reports. And, according to some experts, these policy changes may be attempts to help offset the cost of operating during the pandemic.
"These retailers established safety procedures and protocols quickly for their operations, so now they are likely trying to find extra revenue and margin by relaxing controls wherever they think they can," Chris Walton, a former Target executive and founder of consulting firm Red Archer Retail, told CNN. And for changes to expect from the retail experience, check out the 7 Things You Won't See at Retail Stores Ever Again After Coronavirus.