Target's Holiday season: Free shipping, international delivery, lots of Star Wars


Target has lifted the curtain on its plans for the 2015 Holiday season, with the return of free shipping for online purchases among the headlines.

Starting Monday, Target won't charge a shipping fee for any purchases made from – no matter how much you spend (unless the item's oversized), but in a change this Christmas, free shipping will continue up to Dec. 25.

It's among the numerous promotions the Minneapolis-based retailer announced Thursday as it seeks to steal a march on rivals such as Wal-Mart, which Fortune reports is keeping its $50 minimum for free shipping.

Others include:

  • For the first time, Target will ship to more than 200 countries and territories in partnership with Borderfree, with customers able to pay in almost 60 currencies.
  • The 2-hour grocery delivery service "Instacart," piloted in Minneapolis, will be rolled out to San Francisco.
  • It's Price Match Policy – in which it matches the price of a "qualifying" item if you find it elsewhere cheaper than at – will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, a big extension on its current 14-day window.
  • Curbside pickup expanded from 21 stores to 121 nationwide.
  • Its "Cartwheel" mobile coupons will have more than 1,000 new deals, of which 350 will be at 25 percent or more. It will also offer 50 percent off a different toy every day from Monday until Dec. 24.

CEO Brian Cornell said, "I’m confident that guests will find an easy, inspiring, and most importantly, seamless experience at Target no matter how they choose to shop."

Speaking with the Star Tribune, Cornell said that the retailer's strategy for Christmas "hasn't changed dramatically" from last year, with promotions such as free shipping and Cartwheel discounts returning.

It's more a case of "expanding and refining our playbook" as it builds upon strategies that proved successful last year.

A big change is the introduction of international shipping, with president Jason Goldberger saying its website "already gets tens of millions of visitors every year from outside the U.S."

It's hoped this will translate into orders from round-the-world, as well as domestic shoppers sending gifts overseas.

Star Wars, drones, Apple among toy choices

Ahead of the hotly-anticipated release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in December, Target sees the franchise as key to its success in the toy department, and will continue with the merchandise push it jumped upon in September on "Force Friday."

It says it will be selling more than 450 Star Wars products – including the remote-control or app-driven BB-8 Droid that is expected to be one of the biggest-selling toys this Christmas.

Also on the shelves will be an "expanded assortment of drones," and a "full range" of Apple watches.

On the fashion side, Minnesota's-own Faribault Woolen Mills will feature prominently – with throws, blankets, pillows and scarves making an appearance in its "giftables" sections – while Target has promised "stylish apparel and accessories for the entire family."

Holding Target's wider Christmas marketing strategy together will be a season-long tale it's calling "The Holiday Odyssey" – which is a "digital storybook" narrated by Neil Patrick Harris that will be available to view from Nov. 4 on its website.

Next Up

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.


Target to roll out no minimum, free 2-day shipping for the holidays

It's looking to usurp its rivals, Amazon and Walmart.

Here's how Target is trying to win your holiday shopping (yes, free shipping is part of it)

Free shipping, price matching, and more – but will Target earn your dollars?