Target Corp. announced Wednesday that it is extending its return policy on select items to one year, effective immediately.

The new policy applies to all of Target's 32 private-label brands, such as Archer Farms, Liz Lange, Merona, Mossimo and Threshold. Items purchased for wedding, baby and college gift registries also are included.

"Our enhanced return policy offers our guests convenience we think they'll appreciate, while providing additional assurance of the quality of owned and exclusive brands found only at Target," said Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, in a statement.

The only private labels excluded from the policy are the temporary design collections, including the Lilly Pulitzer collection that will launch April 19. Items in that collection will have a 14-day return policy.

The consumer-friendly announcement came at a time when Target has been saddled with cost-cutting news, including the closing of Target Canada stores and layoff of 1,700 headquarters employees.

"It's a bit reminiscent of Costco's liberal return policy," said Edgar Dworsky, founder of Consumerworld.org, which tracks retailers' return policies. "It certainly is an unusual move."

Dworsky doesn't expect many consumers will take advantage of the longer return policy, but knowing it is in place will create goodwill.

Details of the extended return program will be similar to the current 90-day policy. If a customer doesn't have a receipt, the purchase can be verified if it was bought with a credit or debit card, gift card or check.

Target will be more accommodating on returns without a receipt on store brand items, spokeswoman Erika Winkels said. "We've informed our teams to be flexible in allowing unreceipted returns," she said.

The extension includes returns on items due to quality issues, such as a shirt that fades or jeans that shrink in the laundry. Registry items must be new and in unused condition, but the one-year period starts at the event date, such as the wedding day, rather than the date of purchase.

Redcard holders, who already get an extra 30 days to make returns, will still receive an additional 30 days after the one-year limit for store brand items. For more details about Target's return policies, go to http://tinyurl.com/pqa5dpe.