Starting Nov 1 thru Dec 16
Target Corp. became the latest big-box chain to offer to match the online prices of some rival retailers in what is shaping up to be a fiercely competitive holiday shopping season.
Like Best Buy Co., which last week announced similar plans, Target is seeking to combat "showrooming" by shoppers who check out products in its stores but buy them on competitors' websites, often at lower prices.
Target said Tuesday that its strategy for the holiday season includes being "intensely competitive'' on price, while also showcasing exclusive merchandise, such as a limited-edition designer collection it is creating with Neiman Marcus Group Inc.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said it would match prices from Amazon.com Inc.,Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com between Nov. 1 and Dec. 16.
Best Buy's online matching program started already, but excludes Thanksgiving weekend and CyberMonday. It also includes matching the prices of a larger number of retailers.
Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said Tuesday that he wasn't concerned that price-matching would dent the company's profit margins. "We're already rock solid in price," Mr. Steinhafel said. "But if periodically some competitor has a lower price, this gives our guests the ability to know 'I can do all of my one-stop shopping in Target.' "
Last year, Target eschewed battling competitors on price to preserve its profits, but the retailer missed its sales projections for the fourth quarter. Another contributor to the miss was its troubled website, which crashed several times last fall, leading to declining Internet sales during the holiday.
This year, Target said, it has increased its online capabilities, tripling the orders per hour the site can handle, and has been testing the site in anticipation of higher traffic during the launch of the Target/Neiman Marcus collection on Dec. 1.
Last January, Mr. Steinhafel, in a widely publicized letter, asked suppliers to help Target stem the showrooming trend. Among other things, he asked vendors to produce more exclusive merchandise that would make it harder to compare items to similar things in other stores.
From Target's website:
Holiday Price Matching: select online competitors
We’ll match the price if you buy a qualifying item at a Target store between Nov. 1 and Dec. 16 and find the identical item for less at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com or BabiesRUs.com. Simply show us the current online price using your mobile device, or bring in a printed page showing the current online price by Dec. 16. The online price and availability will be validated by a Target team member at the Guest Service desk.
- Excludes “Marketplace” prices: Price matched items must be sold by Walmart.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, or BabiesRUs.com; prices from 3rd party sellers on these websites will not be honored.
- Excludes Target stores in Alaska and Hawaii.
- Limit quantity of 1 online price match per identical item, per guest.
- Must bring in original Target receipt when requesting the price match by Dec. 16.
- The retail price must be shown on the competitor’s website and must be valid at the time the price match is requested.
- The item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number.
- Online prices from Nov. 22–26 are excluded.
- Excludes online prices from competitors not listed above.
In addition, the following exclusions apply:
- Items originally purchased at Target.com
- Prices that only display on a website after guests log in
- Purchases from CityTarget stores
- For items that are out of stock at Target or a competitor at the time the price match is requested; rain checks will not be issued for any item being price matched
- Items advertised as limited time/limited supply/limited quantity
- Paid membership club or paid loyalty programs (e.g. prices that require a club or loyalty card that is associated with a membership fee)
- Competitor coupon-required or gift card offers
- Competitor price matches on items where Target is offering a free gift card
- Prices advertised only as a percent off or dollar off
- Buy one, get one if the retail price is not shown in the advertisement
- Free product where no qualifying purchase is required
- Bundled offers (including Amazon.com add-on items) and special purchases
- Timed events (e.g., early bird, door busters)
- Sales tax promotions
- Damaged, refurbished and open package product
- Clearance or closeout items
- Mail in offers or instant rebates
- Product services (warranties, assembly, etc.)
- Going-out-of-business liquidations
- Offers that include financing
- Used or previously owned items
- Pricing or typographical errors
- Target Portrait Studio, Optical and Clinic offers
- Non-branded items (e.g., produce not marketed under a specific brand name)
- Contract cell phone plans and devices
- Daily Deals, Lightning Deals, Gold Box Deals, Today’s Deals, Deal of the Day, Deal Near to Me, Value of the Day, Special Buy
- Target team member discounts may not be used with online competitor price match
What qualifies as proof of a price?
- For printed ads: please show us the entire printed advertisement. Photos, photocopies, or mobile phone versions (of the ad) cannot be accepted as verification of a competitor’s printed ad.
- For online prices: please show us your mobile device or a printout from a qualifying competitor’s website or Target.com. A Target team member will then verify the match using a Target device.
Edited by litepink, 05 November 2012 - 02:42 AM.