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Holiday items won't ship in time? Use Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple curbside pickup

With Christmas just days away, shipping deadlines are expiring. Learn how curbside pickup at major stores might save your holiday.

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Best Buy, Apple, Walmart and Target all offer curbside pickup.
James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

If you were hoping to have your holiday gifts delivered on time for Christmas, know that ground shipping deadlines for USPS, FedEx and UPS have passed. That means it's time to consider other ways your Christmas gifts can end up under the tree. There are only a few days left to get your Christmas shopping done, which means making a trip to the store will likely be necessary.

Curbside pickup, offered by several major retailers, lets you skip the crowded stores and long checkout lines -- a major benefit as the omicron variant of COVID-19 surges across the US. You order online and quickly get your items delivered to your car. We'll explain how to schedule a curbside pickup for Target, Walmart, Apple and Best Buy. 

Target Drive Up

Target offers free drive-up pickup, but you have to order using its mobile app. Here's how it works.

1. Open the Target app on your phone or tablet and select the store you're picking up your items from.

2. Add items to your cart for pickup.

3. After you check out, Target will send you a notification letting you know your order is ready to be picked up. From here, you'll need to select Drive Up as your pickup method.

4. When you're ready to pick up your purchase, use the app to let Target know when you're coming and what vehicle you'll be in.

5. Once you make it to the store, park in one of the designated Drive Up spots and let Target know you're there and how they should load your car (for instance, in your trunk). You won't have direct contact with the employee.

Walmart Store Pickup

Here's how Walmart's curbside pickup works.

1. Visit Walmart's website and begin shopping.

2. Once you've added items to your cart and you're ready to check out, select Pick up and choose a date and time to grab your order.

walmart-package

No time for delivery? Pick up your items at the store.

Walmart

3. After you check out, you'll get an email letting you know when your order is ready. Use the website (or app) to check in before you head to the store, to give employees time to gather your items. 

4. When you get to Walmart, pull into a reserved pickup spot and call the number in your confirmation email. An employee will bring your bags outside and load them into your vehicle.

Best Buy Store Pickup

Here's how to order curbside pickup with Best Buy.

1. Visit the Best Buy website and add what you'd like to buy to your cart.

2. At checkout, select Pickup. It'll let you know if your item is eligible for curbside pickup.

3. You'll receive an email confirmation when your order is ready. Head to the store and park in one of the reserved pickup areas. 

4. Using the Best Buy app, enter your parking spot number and what you're driving. Then tap I'm at the store.

5. An employee will come outside and verify your order (while social distancing) and load your items into your trunk.

Apple Watch SE with AirPods Pro

Pick up your Apple order without going inside the store.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Apple Pickup

Apple stores tend to be crowded, but you can order curbside pickup to avoid the throng. Here's how.

1. Visit Apple's website and select the product you'd like to buy.

2. Before adding it to your cart, select a store to pick your device up. (You can do the same thing on the Apple Store app, which if you allow it to use your location will show the nearest store.) It'll say if curbside pickup is available for that store. Tap Continue.

3. Add the item to your bag and check out.

4. Apple will send you a notification email when your order is ready to be picked up. When you arrive at the store, park in a spot designated for pickup and call the store to let them know you're there.

5. An employee will check your ID and will need to see your order number before they hand your package over. 

For last-minute gift ideas, here are 25 gifts that can arrive by Christmas and 12 Walmart deals you can get in time for the holiday.

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