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Target Begins Free Holiday Shipping

Minneapolis – Target is offering free shipping on all online orders now through Dec. 20 as part of its holiday game plan.

The digital-heavy strategy also includes updated mobile apps, an expanded selection of online items available for in-store pickup, and an expansive marketing campaign.

The online focus reflects a 40 percent increase in digital-channel conversion this year, the discounter said.

“We’ve been building capabilities that put us in a strong starting position, including the right digital tools and a broad assortment of unique, on-trend merchandise,” said Brian Cornell, chairman/CEO of Target and a former president/CEO of Sam’s Club.

The holiday plans include the availability for in-store pick-up of some 65,000 products, 80 percent of which can be fulfilled within an hour.

The company is also re-launching its mobile and tablet apps with streamlined checkout that includes Apple Pay, and improved functionality for interactive store maps and shopping lists. In addition, Target will leverage its Cartwheel sales promotion app to offer daily deals to its more than 10 million users from Nov. 2 through Dec. 24, as well as personalized recommendations and special offers for power users.

On the marketing front, Target will launch an expansive holiday campaign around its iconic red and white bulls-eye logo using radio, outdoor, catalog and digital media, with a 50 percent increase in the latter. The stores themselves will be whimsically redecorated by event design agency David Stark Design, and the company will feature a curated selection of holiday fare in Story, a retail space on 10th Ave. and 19th St. in Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea district.

About the latter, chief merchandising and supply chain officer Kathee Tesija said, “This unique concept will also provide a testing ground for us to continue to understand how merchandising and product curation influences our guests.”

In addition, Target will again extend its price-match policy beyond its week-long window to span the Nov. 1-Dec. 24 timeframe.

Within CE, Target touted Beats by Dre, the Skylanders Trap Team video game, and Apple iPhone and exclusive cases by Brooklyn-based graphic designer Dana Tanamachi, as “top electronics gifts for all ages.”