Target’s Loyalty Program Circle Hits 80 Million Users

Target Circle users have saved an estimated $2 billion in membership offers.

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Need to Know

  • Just over one year since its launch, Target Circle has reached 80 million members, up from two million members last fall.
  • Target Circle offers have totaled nearly $2 billion since last year, with rewards reaching nearly $200 million.
  • Circle members have directed $7 million towards nonprofit organizations through a program feature that allows customers to vote on Target’s charitable involvement.

Analysis

Target’s loyalty program, Target Circle, has taken off in the year since its launch, with the retailer reporting membership has now hit nearly 80 million.

Target Circle, which Target initially launched with a test run in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before expanding it to more US cities in early in 2019 and then taking it nationwide in October 2019, had just over two million members last fall. Target Circle users have saved roughly $2 billion over the year from membership offers, and cashback rewards have hit nearly $200 million. In addition, Target Circle members have directed $7 million towards more than 2,500 of Target’s charitable partners; the rewards program includes a feature that allows members to vote on Target’s charitable initiatives.

Prior to the launch of Circle, Target’s loyalty program was tied to its branded credit card, the RedCard. Target Circle is free and requires no background or credit check, making it more attractive to shoppers than a credit card.

This holiday season, Target plans to roll out about a million more deals to its members than it did in 2019. Circle members have access to all of the retailer’s holiday offers in one place, which can be redeemed on Drive Up, Order Pickup, and Same-Day Delivery with Shipt purchases. Target’s holiday plans go beyond its Circle program, as well: this year, the retailer will be implementing a new reservation system, which allows shoppers to save a spot in line at physical store locations.

For its staff, the retailer is awarding a bonus of $200 to more than 350,000 employees, totaling $70-million, in appreciation of the efforts of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company aims to hire 130,000 seasonal workers this year, and will be focusing those hires primarily on the fulfillment of online orders. Seasonal hires will be eligible for the $200 bonus program.

Target has seen substantial growth over the course of the pandemic, as the retailer has made a significant effort to ramp up its digital infrastructure as well as in-store safety protocols, such as contactless pickup and delivery. By May, at the end of its first quarter, Target saw same-day services, including pick up, drive up, and Shipt, rise by 278%; during Q1, Target’s digital sales alone spiked by 141%. In August, the company reported having added 10 million digital customers in six months, with Q2 digital sales growing by 195% year over year. At that time, the company reported that sales fulfilled by Shipt, Target’s courier system, grew by more than 350% year-over-year, with curbside pick-up sales growing by 700%.

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