By RealSimple.com/Katie Holdefehr
Dec 30, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
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Leave it to Target to turn a quick five-minute shopping run into an all-day-long event. Shopping at Target is all about exploration, wandering the aisles to find things you never expected, and loading up a cart (okay, two carts) with all of your finds. With the giant store covering everything from affordable weighted blankets to the box of pasta for tonight's dinner, it's no wonder we can easily spend hours here. And because Target stores are such a treasure trove, there are likely some features and sections of the store you may have never noticed before. From special seasonal sections that are only open for a few weeks out of the year, to free in-store events, there are more reasons to visit your local Target store than you probably even know. Below, we've rounded up seven things you may not have heard about shopping at Target, but that every pro Target shopper needs to know.

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1.Head Straight to the Store Displays

If you don't check out the impeccably curated in-store displays, you're shopping Target all wrong. In the home decor section of the store, you'll notice displays that are set up to show off how products function in real life. For example, you may see a side chair, adorned with a cute throw pillow, beside a side table, with a soft area rug underfoot. These displays let you easily envision how these products work together and how they will look when you bring them home. While it can be hard to get a sense of scale when a piece of furniture is hiding in a box, the in-store displays bring them to life so you can touch them and test them out.

For this reason, it's no surprise that according to Jill Sando, senior vice president, merchandising, at Target, products included in these displays tend to sell better than those on the shelves. The next time you're shopping the Target store, step away from the shelves—and go ahead, pick up that throw pillow and take a seat in that comfy-looking armchair.

2. Don't Forget About the Dollar Spot

Seasoned Target shoppers will tell you: the Dollar Spot (also known as Bullseye's Playground) is one of the best areas in the store. This section features the most affordable products in the entire store, such as string lights for $5 or adorable holiday stockings for $3. If you're hosting a party or preparing for the holidays, the Dollar Spot is a must-visit for everything from place cards to affordable gift wrap. If you typically go into Target planning to pick up one item and leave with 20, the Dollar Spot is likely to blame.

Online shoppers, rejoice: While the in-store Target Dollar Spot is unbeatable for discovering little things you never knew you needed, you can also now shop a selection from Bullseye's Playground online.

3. Checkout the Holiday Wondershop

Special for the 2018 holiday season, Wondershop personalized gifting stations are popping up in select Target stores across the country. Here's your one-stop-shop for everything you'll need to wrap the presents and trim the tree. This section has complete 85-ornament kits ($70) to help you decorate your entire tree. And if you haven't finished gift wrapping just yet, the Wondershop lets you create customized Christmas sacks, wrapping paper, and stockings with your loved ones' names on them. It's official: Target isn't just the best place to pick up holiday gifts, but also the go-to spot for wrapping them, too.

4. Scan Products Using the Target App

If you haven't already downloaded the Target app, you'll want to do so before your next Target shopping spree. When you scan product barcodes on your phone, the app will show you more info about the product, including any deals or discounts. Plus, if you're debating whether a coffee table spotted in-store will fit in your living room, online images and listed dimensions can help provide a sense of scale. Then, using Target's new augmented reality feature (click "See It in Your Space" on the product listing on the app), you can see a virtual, three-dimensional version of the product in your space, no assembly required. Whether you use this feature in-store or at-home, it will help you figure out if the piece will fit in your space before you lug it home.

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5. Use the App to Navigate the Store

Wandering aimlessly around Target to discover things you never expected is part of the joy of the Target shopping experience, but when you're really serious about finding every item on your list quickly, the Target app can help. Once you designate your local store in the app, each item listing will tell you whether it's in-stock at that location, plus the exact aisle it's located in, along with a store map that pin-points exactly where the product is at your store. Click "Add to List" to save items, and your Target run just got way easier.

6. In-Store Pickup Means You Should Never Pay for Shipping

Even if you prefer shopping Target online (sometimes we all need to resist the temptation of in-store shopping), you can still opt to pick up your order at your local store. This way, you'll avoid paying shipping costs and can check out the products before you carry them home. Bonus: Target stores have a special in-store-pickup desk, so you won't need to wait on the regular checkout line to get your order.

7. Stop by In-Store Events for Special Deals and Giveaway

Keep an eye out for in-store events, which are not only fun, but can also offer amazing deals. For example, in November, Target stores hosted a free L.O.L. Surprise! Scavenger Hunt which included giveaways, and for Halloween 2018, stores held a free Paw-Patrol-themed trick-or-treating event. To learn about upcoming events, follow Target on Facebook and mark your calendars.

This article originally appeared on Real Simple. For more articles like this, visit realsimple.com

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