Target made headlines recently by announcing that the price-match guarantee that we saw during the holiday shopping season will now be a full-time offer throughout the year. I’m sure I wasn’t the only retail analyst who saw how big of a deal this could end up becoming. But a closer look at the fine print made think that this might not be the game-changer that some are expecting. In the latest edition of Retail Rap, I take a closer look at the Target price-matching guarantee and offer some pros and cons of the deal for retailers and consumers.
The first big issue is that the new policy only covers “qualifying items”; a visit to Target’s website reveals a fairly long list of exclusions and exceptions, both in terms of the products that are eligible for the program, and the mechanics of how the guarantee actually works. Additionally, while this is being talked about as a comprehensive online price-match program, the reality is that it applies specifically to a few select online retailers: Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com or Toysrus.com. Now, granted, those are some big names, and those sites represent a pretty sizable chunk of virtual real estate, but it’s still a relatively short list.
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.