Target First & Shields – Just Another Target Run

by SuzyQ on April 18, 2012

Because of the recent reports that the Target store on First and Shields in Fresno had developed a no-couponer stance lately, many local couponers have taken up the call to visit the store, coupon policies in hand, to do some shopping in hopes that the store will comply with corporate policy and once again be friendly to the couponing community.  I decided to see what the hype was all about.

Target at First and Shields is not my local store, and while I enjoyed the fact that at noon on a Wednesday it was not overly busy (other than needing more cashiers open), the cost of gas to get there and back would not make it worthwhile to shop there on a regular basis.  The store itself is neat and clean and every employee I encountered was smiling and friendly.

This trip to Target was a small run mainly to get things I needed.  I didn’t make an attempt to do a lot of coupon matchups, but I did have a transaction with several coupons, including stacked coupons (store and manufacturer).  My main goal was to buy air filters for the house ($9.99 and $6 mail-in rebate) and a pedometer, since mine broke this week.  I also wanted to get a few summer t-shirts for my daughter (3/$15).  I did pick up Market Pantry pasta and sauce for $1 each and used the $1/2 Target printable, making them $0.50 ea.  I also picked up a box of Belvita breakfast biscuits for $0.99 after using a $1/1 manufacturer coupon (SS2/26 exp 4/30) and a $1/1 Target printable.

Since the purpose of my visit was to test the checkout process, that was my main focus.  I was third in line for a female cashier in her 20s.  She was not the fastest cashier, but she was careful.  When it was my turn to check out, she greeted me and I asked her how her day was going.  We continued to chat while she scanned the items.  She asked me if I had a Red Card (yes, I do).  By the time she had finished ringing up my items, she had already seen that I was carrying coupons.  She was polite and said, “And you have coupons…”  I said yes and handed them over.  She scanned them, and they all worked fine without any issues.  She was not put off in any way that I had coupons with me.  I thanked her by name and told her to have a wonderful day.

No drama, no issues, no bad feelings… It was just another Target run.

I’m not sure if changes have been implemented by management since the time the story first started, but there are some actions couponers can take when shopping to make their visits for enjoyable for everyone.

  1. While it’s not necessary to dress up to shop, being put together can go a long way.  A person’s first impression of you will determine how they treat you a lot of the time.
  2. Be friendly and greet your cashier.  Stay off your phone during the checkout process.  Ask your cashier how he/she is doing.  This small talk can often help you if there is a problem with a coupon.  A cashier who sees you as a friendly person will be more likely to want to solve the problem.  A cashier who sees you as unfriendly will want to get you out of the line and out of the store as quickly as possible, including not putting your coupons through.
  3. Carry the coupon policy with you.  A recently printed policy that is not crumpled or stained will show the cashier that you are serious about couponing ethically.  Again, it’s all about perception.
  4. Never raise your voice to the cashier.  It is best to remain calm if you have to explain the coupon policy.  If you have it printed with you, you can easily show the cashier if there has been a mistake.
  5. If the cashier is not understanding the policy, ask to complete the transaction without using the coupons.  Then go to the Customer Service to solve the problem.  At this point you made need to politely ask for a manager.

I was wearing business casual when I shopped today, I smiled at every employee, and made small talk with the cashier.  Whether this had anything to do with the ease of my checkout, I don’t know, but I certainly doesn’t hurt to be nice to anyone you encounter while shopping.

I would love to hear how others are doing at Target First and Shields this week!

For more information on this story, visit Fresno Couponing.

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