Target Will Match Prices of Amazon, Walmart.com, Other Online Retailers Year-Round

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Target Price matching
Target (TGT) announced a bold new program Tuesday morning, promising to match the prices found on online retail competitors including Amazon.com (AMZN) and Walmart.com (WMT). The new policy is similar to the one Target implemented during the 2012 holiday shopping season, but now, it will operate year-round.

Mark Schindele, Target's senior vice president of merchandising operations, explained in a blog post that Target received such positive feedback on the holiday price match policy, it decided to make it permanent.

Under the new policy, customers will get a price-match if they can provide proof of a lower price at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com or BestBuy.com. They can also score a retroactive price-match if they bring in proof of a lower price (and their receipt) within 7 days of their purchase. Target will also price-match its own website, as well as any deals you later find in the following week's weekly ad. And shoppers using Target's REDcard can still get their 5% discount on top of the price match.

The policy outlines a few exclusions: Stores won't price-match third-party vendors on these sites, such as Amazon's "marketplace" sellers. Target stores in Alaska and Hawaii won't be participating. And online prices that can only be had through clearance sales or percentage-off promotions are ineligible for the price-match policy. Target will, however, continue to price-match local retail competitors.

As we noted when Target and Best Buy (BBY) announced their online price-match policies during the holiday shopping season, the move seems aimed at the growing ranks of "showroomers" -- shoppers who browse and try out products in stores, then buy those products at lower prices online. By offering to match the prices customers find on their smartphones, Target can avoid losing those sales.

The downside is that Target will see its profit margins shrink on price-matched sales. Even Amazon, with its comparatively low overhead, is having trouble turning a profit while maintaining its current low prices and slim margins. If legions of shoppers come into Target asking associates to price-match Amazon, then the retailer will likewise feel the pinch.

But after a disappointing holiday season, Target is evidently willing to tighten its margins if it means retaining customers who would otherwise be lost to the online retail machine.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.



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23 Comments

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Wayne

well they didn't tell their stores yet. I asked them Friday if they price matched and they said no.

February 23 2013 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Burt

Here is another idea, raise the salaries of the people who work in the stores, cut all prices below all the mentioned stores for 1 year. Cut the salaries of all the executives and use that money to cover the thinner margins brought in by the stores. The important thing is to get people back in the store again and have them feel good about shopping there.

January 08 2013 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Burt

Bartering would be better. Maybe auction off various items every hour. I am willing to become the new CEO of Target for a mere 30 million a year and a golden parachute worth 50 million
Thank you

January 08 2013 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Burt

I seriously doubt that Target will check all their products against Amazon's pricing. Half the people who walk in Target will not bother and Target knows it. If the individual knows that they can get it cheaper somewhere else to begin with they will shop there and not go to Target to haggle. Everyone is selling the same overpriced junk. It is good to get deals though....we are not all rich! Many of the stores hire morons and have no idea what they are doing. The other side of the coin are the customers trying to get something for
free. I prefer to shop on line. There is nothing worse than going to a store and finding out that they are out of what you need

January 08 2013 at 11:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
macbenson5

I never understood the price MATCH thing. If you want my business, BEAT the price by an amount that justifies me driving to your store.

January 08 2013 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bettyboopjim

I once price matched an item at Target, on top of having to have the ad, they even called the nearest Wal*mart to make sure they had that identical item in stock. What a waste of my time! Now I just go to the store where it is cheaper.

Wal*mart price matches ANY store without having an ad. You can get a $400.00 vacuum cleaner, tell them Target has the same item for $250.00, and that is what they will charge you. No ad needed. Hell, buy two at those prices!!!

They also match all grocery items. You can use prices you have seen in any ad, Asian grocers, Hispanic, they all work. Save big!

Also, you can just make up your own prices on everything in the store. No price proof is needed. I have seen people get $800.00 worth of stuff for less than $50.00.. Beats shoplifting. Then you take your haul to customer service and redeem it all at full value for a gift card. Then sell the gift card at a slightly lower price to any customer in the store. Free $$ for all!!!

I don't do this, when I price match, I bring in the ads I am using. I am just telling you what I have observed.

January 08 2013 at 5:44 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bettyboopjim's comment
ashespaw

Best Buy will also call the nearest WalMart (for example) to see if they actually have the advertised item in stock. If not, too bad.

January 08 2013 at 7:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sonny

This is nonsense, you or the store has to have local ad from local store to match the price.

January 10 2013 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
suec8

Boycotting all stores that were open either Thanksgiving day or Christmas day--including Targets.
Had been buying less from Target even before our current boycott since they stopped carrying many of our favorite products when they closed the garden centers and opened the grocery section. These were not no-name products either. Things like Brawny paper towels, Rubbermaid large freezer packs, Don Francisco coffee, Tootsie rolls, and many others.
Anyone else noticed that their "Clearance" end caps now only mark merchandise down 15% instead of the 50-75% they used to? The last two years have brought so many unwanted changes that you would swear that they are trying to run this company into the ground.

January 08 2013 at 5:01 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to suec8's comment
Leo Ganzer

Target is doing pretty good. A billion dollar addition to their office complex near my house is underway.

January 08 2013 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Leo Ganzer's comment
ashespaw

For a billion dollars they could buy your entire neighborhood. Did you get you rnumbers right Leo?

January 08 2013 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Leo Ganzer

I did get the numbers right. They are developing a huge track of land in Brooklyn Park Mn with light rail going to it. Look it up...

January 08 2013 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
savinsur

Well they dont price match themseleves so cant see this working I will NEVER shop target again. I went online to Target.com at 12 am Thanksgiving morning to purchase a PS3 for my son. I placed the order gave credit card info got a confirmation and ship date. Then I got an email which confirmed the order, a week later got an email with the shipping date then a week later the email said shipping was delayed, then 2 weeks before Christmas I get an email sorry we are now out of stock so you wont be getting your order. They didnt even ask if I would wait til after the holidays to receive my item, or if they had one in a store that they would match the online price nope just sorry strung you along and now too bad so sad. So I took back each and every item I purchased from Target back to the store and took my money across the street to Walmart and JCP. When I get a confirmation number and a ship date that says you bought it, but not at Target and by the time we found out they werent shipping my item all the deals on PS3's were sold out so NO he did not get his gift. So good luck Target you just dont care about your customers and it shows

January 08 2013 at 3:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
madddddddddddddd

TARGET IS CLEAN AND NICE,,BUT IT WONT BE GETTING MY BUSINESS........

THEY JUST TOLD US THAT A EGIFT CARD FROM A RELATIVE,, WAS A FRAUD.................THE STORE MGR,SAID THA,AFTER LOOKING AT THE CARD FOR 2 SECONDS..............

WE THEN WENT ON LINE AND USED IT JUST FINE............I DONT TRUST TARGET ANYMORE................

January 08 2013 at 3:01 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to madddddddddddddd's comment
Burt

were you wearing a turbin?

January 08 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lquidgreen

About time. Last time I was in Target, they wouldn't even price match their own website. How do you advertise something online, charge twice as much in-store, and expect to keep customers?

January 08 2013 at 2:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lquidgreen's comment
Burt

They have to pay for the brick and mortar so you can go there and hang out and look at stuff

January 08 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply