Target to stop accepting in-store returns, exchanges for 3 weeks amid COVID-19 pandemic

Target will stop accepting in-store returns and exchanges for the next three weeks--one of several changes the Minneapolis-based retailer is making to protect employees and customers amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Although Target has already implemented rigorous cleaning routines, CEO Brian Cornell announced Wednesday a team member will be now stationed at the entrance to each store to make sure carts are clean and available in an orderly fashion. There will also be signs at the front of stores and floor decals in the checkout lanes to ensure guests maintain safe distances between each other while they shop. 

In a news release, Cornell said checkout lanes will be cleaned after each guest transaction. Stores will rotate the use of checkout lanes to allow those not in use to be deep-cleaned. 

Target will also stop selling reusable bags for the time being. Guests who bring in reusable bags will be asked to bag their own items at checkout. The retailer will waive any bag fees for paper or plastic bags. 

Target stores will continue to close early, at 9 p.m., to allow employees to deep clean and replenish the shelves.  

As for the new return policy, Cornell said Target will still honor returns that expire during the three-week period when stores are not accepting returns and exchanges. 

Target is also expanding the hours reserved for vulnerable guests to shop safely. Last week, Target announced stores would reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday for vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns. 

Starting next week, the first hour of shopping on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be reserved for vulnerable guests to shop. CVS will open its pharmacy locations in Target stores early on those days as well to accommodate those shoppers.