Target takes price-matching to a whole new level
Price matching is a common tactic in retailing with chains typically identifying a small number of key competitors whose prices they will meet. Beginning today, Target — at stores and target.com — is taking the practice to a new level by expanding its price-matching list from five to 29 competitive e-commerce sites.
According to a posting on A Bullseye View site, Target looked at competitors with products that overlapped its assortment to include in its price-matching program. The full list includes: Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, BedBathBeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, BN.com, Buybuybaby.com, Costco.com, CVS.com, Diapers.com, DicksSportingGoods.com, Drugstore.com, Gamestop.com, JCPenney.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Macys.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Samsclub.com, Sears.com, SportsAuthority.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Toysrus.com, Ulta.com. Walgreens.com, Walmart.com and Wayfair.com.
Target has also expanded the timeframe for customers seeking a price match. Previously, the company’s stores would honor a price match for a period of up to seven days after a purchase. The period has now been extended to 14 days for Target stores and target.com.
The retailer’s decision to expand its list and redemption period may be more about improving its price perception with consumers than risking profit margins. According to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report, fewer than five percent of consumers ask merchants to match prices because of the perceived hassle in doing so.
Part of the hassle involves presenting an exact item from a competitor to qualify for a match. Target’s decision to include Costco and Sam’s Club on its list is unlikely to turn up many exact product matches since the warehouse clubs specialize in bulk purchases and Target does not.
Walmart, Target’s chief rival, matches prices with 30 competitors. Its list includes dollar stores and auto parts retailers not matched by Target.
- Target Unveils Changes to Price Match Policy – A Bullseye View
- Target expands price-matching policy to 29 rivals – Minneapolis Star Tribune (tiered sub)
- Target to match online prices with online rivals – The Associated Press
- Walmart’s Price Matching Policy
How will Target’s expanded price-matching program affect its pricing perception among consumers? Will the change be a net positive or negative for Target?