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Target: just say “no” to showrooming

Showrooming is the term that big-box stores like Target have given to when a customer comes in to check out an item, then ends up buying it for less online.  sends a letter to vendors asking them to help stop “showrooming,” where customers come in to look at a product, then buy it online for less. Late last week Target sent a letter to vendors asking them to sell exclusive merchandise to the retailer. So if you’re Kraft, and Target sells your macaroni and cheese for 99 cents a box, but thrifty customers can get that same box for 89 cents online, Target wants you to make Target Macaroni and Cheese (bull’s eye-shaped pasta?), a product that can only be found in the store. I think mattress companies have been doing this for years, which is how they can offer “we’ll beat any competitor deals.” It’s easy to beat competitor pricing, when no competitors sell the same mattress.
From the Wall Street Journal: “Showrooming is an increasing problem for chains ranging from Best Buy Co. to Barnes & Noble Inc., at the same time that it's a boon for Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers.” Target is also mulling over a loyalty program, where customers can get a discount on frequently purchased items.

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.

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