Inc. and its big-box, store-based competitors are preparing for something the United States hasn’t seen in 100 years: a holiday shopping season during a global pandemic that’s not yet under control.

In 2020, retailers are working to make things easier for customers by devoting extra resources to curbside pickup of online orders to serve consumers reluctant to enter physical stores. They also have hired and redeployed employees to handle ecommerce fulfillment in response to a pandemic-driven surge in online demand. With holidays approaching, big retailers are ramping up much of what they’ve already done while adding new twists.

The goal is to provide a good customer experience by minimizing shipping delays and making curbside and in-store pickup experiences as easy and painless as the retailers can make them.

The actions of four of the largest retailers— Inc., Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. Inc.—show a commitment to adapt to what is likely to be an unpredictable, ecommerce-heavy peak shopping season during the fourth quarter of 2020.

How are they preparing?

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