Bethany Clough

Fresno Target stores join latest trend of shopping without leaving your car. Here’s how

Most Target stores in Fresno and Clovis have added Target Drive Up, a service that lets customers pick up their purchases without leaving their cars.
Most Target stores in Fresno and Clovis have added Target Drive Up, a service that lets customers pick up their purchases without leaving their cars. Target

Target has unveiled its latest delivery service in most Fresno and Clovis stores, letting people pick up their purchases without leaving their cars.

The Target Drive Up service lets customers who make purchases via the Target app pick them up the same day.

When customers are notified that their purchases are ready, they press the “I’m on my way” button on the app. At the Target parking lot, they pull into a parking space marked by a tall red beacon. A Target employee brings their purchases out to them in two minutes or less.

Such services, including a similar one at area Walmart stores, are often used by parents who don’t want to go through the hassle of loading and unloading small children from their cars.

All the Target stores in Fresno and Clovis now have the service with the exception of the store near Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis (the other store in Clovis, on Herndon Avenue, offers Drive Up.) Other Valley stores, such as locations in Hanford and Visalia, also have it.

Fresno and Clovis were included in the first wave of cities getting the service this year (along with Modesto, Sacramento, Bakersfield and other California cities). The company added the service to nearly 1,000 stores last year after testing it in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, where Target is based.

The service does not deliver perishable grocery items, but does include non-perishables like cereal and barbecue sauce. The app tells shoppers which items are available as part of the service. The other main categories available are household essentials, baby care items, home department items, toys and electronics, said Target spokeswoman Jill Lewis.

Walmart difference

Not offering perishables like bananas via the service is one difference between it and a similar service run by Walmart. That retailer introduced a service in Fresno in 2017 that lets shoppers do their grocery and other shopping online. An employee brings their purchases to a specified parking space without the driver leaving the car.

Both Target and Walmart are part of a growing trend of retailers using technology to make shopping in person quicker and more convenient.

Target, for example, also offers shoppers who buy online the ability to pick up their purchase at guest services, skipping the traditional checkout line. It also delivers to doorsteps in Fresno via delivery service Shipt.

Walmart will soon add its own pick-up-in-store service in the Fresno area.

Customers can already pick up their online purchases at a Pickup Tower at the Dinuba Walmart. The 16-foot tall orange tower at the front of the store functions like a vending machine, with shoppers scanning an emailed barcode and the machine serving up their order.

A tower is in the works for an unnamed Fresno store. Walmart is also in the process of rolling out a service that delivers groceries to doorsteps.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.