By Jessica Wohl
NEW YORK Oct 16 Target Corp will match
certain online retailers' prices this holiday season as the
discount chain tries to stand out during what could be a fierce
fight for shoppers, Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said on
For the first time, Target will let customers match prices
from online retailers, including Amazon.com,
Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, Toysrus.com
and Babiesrus.com between Nov. 1 and Dec. 16, the company told
reporters at a meeting in New York.
Target had previously matched printed advertisements for
prices at competitors' stores, and will still match those prices
through Dec. 24.
Target's strategy includes being "highly promotional" and
"intensely competitive" on price on items carried by other
retailers, while also featuring exclusive merchandise,
Like many retailers, Target's holiday season plans include
an aggressive push around Black Friday, the day after
Thanksgiving that traditionally has served as the start of the
holiday shopping season. Target did not say what time its stores
will open on Black Friday, but it does plan to give out details
early on its special prices, said Chief Marketing Officer Jeff
Commercials for the holiday season include phrases such as
"Dream big, save bigger" and "It's On."
Steinhafel also said he is confident Target will meet its
financial goals for the year, even though consumer confidence,
while rising, remains largely below where it was before the
devastating 2007-2009 recession.
Last week, Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's
preliminary October reading showed consumer sentiment at its
highest level in five years.
Like its rivals, Target is taking nothing for granted this
holiday season. Earlier this month, Toys R Us said it would
offer price matching at its namesake and Babies R Us stores.
DREAMING OF A DESIGNER CHRISTMAS
Target and upscale department store Neiman Marcus Group Inc
will sell a joint line of holiday goods, starting on
Dec. 1 during what is often a lull for retailers between Black
Friday and the last couple of weeks before Christmas.
The items range from dark gray wrapping paper designed by
Rodarte, priced at $7.99 per roll, to a $499.99 floral-and-white
bicycle with a neon green seat from Alice + Olivia.
Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz said one of the items she plans
to buy is a $69.99 metallic pouch from Marc Jacobs.
In order to avoid the out-of-stock and online ordering
glitches that overwhelmed Target during the run on Missoni
products in 2011, Target and Neiman Marcus are allowing shoppers
to buy only up to five of the same item per transaction. All
returns must be made by Jan. 5, 2013.
The companies also said that they are sponsoring the Nov. 11
episode of the popular ABC Sunday night show "Revenge" and
incorporating products into the episode.
Target will also give its REDcard credit and debit card
holders an extra 30 days to return nearly all purchases made
with the cards.
Even though Target stopped selling Amazon.com Inc's Kindle
ereaders earlier this year, it is not concerned about other
partnerships with companies that are also sometimes rivals, said
Casey Carl, president of multichannel and senior vice president
Target started testing same-day delivery through Ebay Now in
the San Francisco Bay Area market on Oct. 10 and now sells a
limited number items, both national branded goods and items only
sold through Target, on eBay's marketplace section of
But despite the popularity of layaway at other chains,
including rival Wal-Mart, Target's shoppers have not asked for
layaway - the option of putting an item on hold and paying for
it over time, Steinhafel said.
Beyond its Christmas period initiatives, Target has been
adding a wider variety of food to more locations, opening
smaller city stores and offering a 5 percent discount to its
card holders to entice shoppers to visit more often.
Target shares closed on Tuesday at $62.90, up 1.8 percent -
outpacing the 0.5 percent gain of the S&P Retail Index.