Target lets gift recipient OK item before it ships

Gone are the days of lugging that heavy bag out of Target, filled with holiday gifts. Now you can shop online and send an announcement of the present electronically.

"Target first discount retailer to offer this service," said Trae Bodge, a retail expert.

The service is called Gift Now. You purchase a gift online and click the "Gift Now" feature. Then your recipient gets an email. Never once does the present leave the warehouse without approval. Never once does your friend or family need to haul back an item they don't want.

Bodge said the recipient can swap the gift for something of equal or lesser value or opt to receive a gift card instead.

But first, customers need to get over the fact that they are "emailing" a gift instead of handing it over in person.

Target is rolling out this option at a time when it is a dogfight with retail behemoth Amazon.

While this Gift Now feature has been used at Neiman Marcus, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue, the retail expectations for this holiday shopping season suggest that this may be the year to try something innovative and time-saving like Gift Now.