Despite disappointing November-December revenues, Target Corp. has pledged to make one aspect of its holiday season strategy permanent–the company will now match in-store prices with select online rivals, 365 days a year.
The websites of Walmart, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Amazon.com all made the cut, meaning that customers with proof of a lower price at one of these sites can request an in-store price match not only prior to, but also after purchase–even if those products are out of stock on Target.com.
Target stores trial ran their price-match system between Nov.1 and Dec.16 this year, and found that it was quite popular among customers. Though the company does its best to monitor prices of its 30,000 in-store items (not to mention thousands more online) Target faced continual underselling from stores like Walmart, and has struggled to retain customers who prefer to browse products at Target stores, but buy them elsewhere at cheaper prices.
Target isn’t the only retailer price matching with online stores–Best Buy’s physical stores will match prices with 20 online retailers through Jan.31, and Toys R Us matches online prices with select competitors throughout the year–but the phenomenon is still relatively new. That said, as e-commerce accounts for more and more of shoppers’ spending dollars, forecasters predict it will become common among brick and mortar stores struggling to compete with shops online.