What Target’s Newly Overhauled Loyalty Program Means for Shoppers

Target’s long-awaited loyalty program is almost here.

The big-box retailer announced today that the new Target Circle, which was revealed more than a year ago, is set to launch nationwide on Oct. 6 — just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Free for members who sign up on the site or through the Target app, the loyalty program offers customers birthday rewards for the first time as well as discounts tailored to their shopping preferences. It will also give back 1% on all purchases that users can redeem at a later date. (Target’s RedCard holders will be able to save 5% off purchases but are not eligible to earn the additional 1% savings.)

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do, and we’re always looking for new ways to create even easier, more rewarding shopping experiences that give them another reason to choose Target more often,” said EVP and chief marketing and digital officer Rick Gomez.

On top of individualized offerings and savings, the Minneapolis-based chain has promised to donate to more than 800 nonprofits across the country chosen by customers. (For every purchase, shoppers will earn votes to help direct proceeds to the organizations.)

“We worked directly with guests to develop Target Circle, and the program includes the benefits and perks that they told us were most important to them, from earning on every Target trip to having the opportunity to help Target make a positive impact within their local communities,” Gomez added.

Since March 2018, Target had been experimenting with its rewards system — formerly dubbed Target Red — in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It also rolled out the test in five other major metropolitan cities, including Charlotte, Denver and Kansas City.

Other retailers including Vans, Macy’s and DSW have also put extra investments behind launching or revamping their rewards systems, amid a highly competitive retail environment. In addition to driving sales and winning over first-time customers, new-age companies are recognizing that effective loyalty programs can be a major catalyst for building long-term connections with consumers.

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