Target Expands Holiday Online Price-Matching Policy To A Year-Round Thing

While some Target customers were confused about the retailer’s holiday price-matching policy, where the store would match online prices on its own items (only if they were in stock online) with store prices, everything is about to become a lot clearer and also, permanent. The retailer announced that it’s not only going to price-match all of its online items, in stock online or no, it’ll also match competitor’s online prices in its brick-and-mortar stores, year-round.

Showing that it’s trying to get with the times, Target says customers who find identical products for lower prices available on the sites of a list of rivals will be able to get that same price at a physical Target store.

It’ll be matching prices for places like Amazon.com and the websites of Walmart, Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us, reports the Associated Press.

Target tried out the price-matching game during the holiday season, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 16, but didn’t match items that were out of stock on its own site, so this is kind of a big deal for the company. Ostensibly, it should keep shoppers from “showroomin” — the practice of browsing a physical store to see items in real life and then going online to find a lower price.

It needs to do something to boost sales after a wah-wah of a holiday season, and the company’s head honcho sounds confident this will do the trick. Mark Schindele, Target senior vice president of merchandising operations, said the company is aware that times, they are definitely changing.

“We believe that our prices are competitive year-round,” he aid in an interview. “We also know that our guests shop in many ways.”

Ah yes, the Internet is pretty popular for this thing you call shopping.

Stores like Best Buy also offered price-matching in the holiday season, which is ending at that retailer on Jan. 31. With Target’s move to the year-round model, other major retailers could join in the fun or risk falling behind in sales.

To get the price match, customers must show up at guest services desk before they buy an item, with proof of an online competitor’s lower price. If you’ve already bought something at Target and found a lower price online, you can bring in the original Target receipt and proof of the competitor’s lower price to trigger a price-match retroactively.

Basically, simply insisting, “But it’s cheaper on the Internet!” won’t work.

Target unveils year-round online price match following temporary holiday policy [Associated Press]