Photo: Flickr / Thomas Hawk
Target just effectively ended the practice of showrooming in its stores by saying it would match Amazon’s prices year-round.The discount chain said it would match prices of some online competitors all year, instead of just over the holidays. In addition to Amazon, Target will match prices from itself, Best Buy, Walmart and Toys R Us, Reuters reported.
By matching Amazon’s prices, Target is ensuring that customers won’t check out a product in a retail store and then order it for cheaper from Amazon.
The announcement comes after Target reported that sales in December were flat from a year earlier.
“Target said that throughout the year it will match the price when a customer buys an eligible item at one of its stores and finds the same item at a lower price in the following week’s Target circular or in a local competitor’s printed ad,” according to Reuters. “It will also match the price if the customer finds the same item at a lower price within a week on Target’s website or the websites of Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Toys R Us.”
Best Buy, Walmart and Toys R Us have also been impacted by showrooming in the past.
While the move is bold, it may not have a huge impact on Target’s earnings. In November, CEO Gregg Steinhafel downplayed the significance of the company’s holiday price-matching policy.
“We don’t see a lot of price match activity in our stores,” he said on a conference call with analysts. “We’ve been price matching for a long time. Our value proposition is so good day in and day out, and our circular price offering is so good that we don’t expect this to be meaningful.”
Still, the announcement sends a strong message that Target sees Amazon as a major competitor.
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