Target recently announced that it will be phasing out its Cartwheel Perks rewards program, with August 27th being the last day to accrue points and September 27th being the last day to select deals, according to CNBC. The pilot program, which launched in September 2016 in five test markets (Denver, Houston, San Diego, St. Louis, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina), allowed shoppers to collect points from purchases and receive digital coupons offering a savings of 5 to 50 percent off specific items throughout the store. Using the Cartwheel app, shoppers would simply present the barcode on their phones at checkout to receive discounts on the items in their carts.
The Cartwheel Perks program was part of a larger initiative to encourage in-store shopping. Not only did the program offer exclusive in-store deals, but by offering in-app maps of the store and locating nearby deals, it also made navigating the aisles easier.
When the company decided to fold the Cartwheel app (launched in 2013) into the main Target app this June, Target’s VP of digital product, Sean Murphy, explained that the decision was a response to the common customer demand: “Keep making it easier.”
While the end of the program means that Target won’t offer a rewards system starting in the fall, there is some speculation that a new program could be on the horizon. “We had many learnings about how to engage and reward guests that we plan to leverage in the future,” Target said to CNBC. Until then, fans of Cartwheel Perks are taking to Twitter to express their displeasure.
“Half the reason I go to @Target and use Cartwheel so often is the Perks, so I’m a little upset that they’re ending it,” one user laments. Another utilized a series of weary-faced emojis to capture her distress.
But the company continues to stress that bigger and better things are to come. “Exciting changes are in the works for Cartwheel, and we can’t wait to share them with you,” the company said in an email.