If you read the entire Times story, it really ties together some fragments of Target dogma. If you have worked at a Target, especially directly with Guest, you can't deny hearing "I came in here for X and now I have my arms full, so yes, I would like a cart/hand basket". I have noticed an increase in not just asking CIHYFS but also "Can I get you a cart" (not to be nice or for Guest Service but to drive incremental sales) and "Can I suggest additional items?" check out slide #10 at http://www.tcasug.org/files/ANDREW.POLE - ISM presentation.pdf . Then understand how store level employees can now use those famous words of ignorance, "I was only following orders; I didn't know or understand how my individual role in the Wehrmacht..er Target Corp. really attributed to large scale evil."
...which makes it even more important to be fully stocked as spot relies heavily on the "impulse" shopper who comes in for 1-2 items & leaves with a cart. I've had many a guest who buys things at Target that they'd normally get elsewhere for less but, for the convenience factor (gas prices not withstanding), get them at T.