If you need to quickly pick up a gallon of milk, or want to grab a bottle of wine for dinner, Target will make it easier to drive up, pick up, and go.  

In a test starting at some stores this spring, the Minneapolis-based retailer will add perishables like milk, as well as wines and beers, to the array of items shoppers can order online, then scoop up at a local store without getting out of the car.

Target revealed the new option Tuesday, during a presentation to investors that discussed its earnings performance last year, and the plans it has to entice shoppers and boost growth in 2020.

Sales at stores open at least a year were up 1.5% during the quarter that ended Feb. 1. But it was online shopping that saw the big surge, jumping 20% during that period as compared to the same quarter the previous year.

That growth was fueled by shoppers taking advantage of options that include being able to pick up online purchases at a nearby store, or having their packages dropped off by Target's Shipt delivery service. 

“Target’s results demonstrate that we’ve built a sustainable business model that drives strong top line growth and consistent bottom line performance,” Brian Cornell, Target's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. 

Target to try out even smaller stores 

Target, which has opened smaller stores to cater to customers living in cities or on college campuses, plans to experiment with that format as well. While it's smallest location currently is no more than 12,000 square feet, Target says it's considering opening new stores that are half that size.

It plans to open a test location, roughly the size of a convenience store, next year.

Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail consultancy GlobalData said in an investors note that the sharp increase in digital sales "means that Target is still growing its market share.''

Additionally, utilizing its physical stores to speed up how quickly customers get their packages "is one of the reasons for the strong bottom line performance.''

But sales growth will likely be weaker than last year, Saunders says, partly because of Target's ongoing battle for shoppers with Amazon and Walmart. New private labels and store revamps have also lost some of their appeal.

"Gains from things like store refurbishment and new own-brands have already been made and will not keep delivering at the same pace,'' Saunders said.

Target changes plans because of coronavirus

Target became the latest business to cancel an in-person event because of worries about the coronavirus. The retailer decided to hold its investors meeting, previously scheduled to take place in New York City Tuesday, remotely instead.

“Given the rapidly evolving situation regarding the coronavirus, the Target leadership team has decided to cancel the in-person aspect of Tuesday’s financial community meeting,’’ the company said in a statement Monday. “Instead, we will conduct the meeting remotely from Minneapolis.’’

But so far, concerns about the virus are not having a notable impact on Target's performance, the retailer says.

"As of today, we haven't seen a large impact on our business or outlook,'' Target's chief financial officer Michael Fiddelke told investors.

Brian Cornell, Target's CEO, said the company's leadership has been mapping out contingencies "for weeks'' with suppliers and staffers both within and outside the U.S.

“We’re tracking this by category and by factory… to ensure we’re on top of it and able to plan accordingly,’’ Cornell said to investors. 

A team has been meeting daily over the last month to evaluate the state of manufacturing in China, how quickly workers are getting back to their jobs, and the conditions at ports where goods are shipped, Cornell said. There may be occasional delays of some goods, he added.  

Target stores are also trying to meet the demand of shoppers clamoring for disinfectant, hand sanitizer and other household staples because of worries about the coronavirus.

"We're certainly seeing a surge in store traffic as people stock up,'' Cornell said."We've seen aggressive shopping across the country in our stores. So we’re obviously  working closely with our domestic vendors ... to make sure we’re elevating inventory.''

Target shares were up slightly more than 1% to $110.16 in morning trading. 

Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones