Target: just say “no” to showrooming

Marc Sanchez Jan 23, 2012

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 Inc. and other online retailers.” Target is also mulling over a loyalty program, where customers can get a discount on frequently purchased items.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.