Target announces one of the most liberal return policies among major retailers

IndustriesAssociated Press

Target will allow returns for up to a year for the store's private and exclusive brands as it seeks an advantage over rivals, both traditional and online.

The announcement Wednesday extends the previous 90-day return window significantly and is one of the most liberal polices among major retailers.

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At Wal-Mart, most items bought in a store can be returned within 90 days of purchase. For online purchases, you have 90 days from when you received it.

Items shipped from Amazon.com can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment in most cases. Some products have different policies or requirements associated with them.

Best Buy allows returns on almost everything within 15 days for a full refund or exchange.

Target's new return policy covers all of its 32 owned and exclusive brands including Circo children's items, Threshold household goods and Merona shirts.

One-year returns also apply to Target's baby, college or wedding gift registry, but those products must be returned unopened.

All returns must be accompanied by a receipt.

The new return policies come shortly after the retailer announced that it cut its minimum online purchase to qualify for free shipping in half to $25.

Target is bouncing back from a turbulent stretch when it suffered a massive data breach and was forced to retreat from Canada, where it is closing stores in waves.

Wall Street has begun to take note, as have investors, who have pushed shares up 36 percent in the past year. Shares traded above $80 for the first time Monday, reaching another in a string of all-time highs that it began to log just before the crucial holiday shopping season began in December.

Earlier this month, Target said it would lay off about 1,700 people, eliminate another 1,400 unfilled positions and cut up to $2 billion in costs. It will also focus more on technology to boost online sales growth. The latter move will involve about $1 billion aimed at beefing up business from shoppers who are more likely to shop online.

Target Corp., based in Minneapolis, has 1,795 stores. Its stock fell 76 cents to $80.27 in Wednesday afternoon trading amid a broad market sell-off.