Target brings back price matching policy to all Minnesota stores

Posted on June 8th, 2009 – 2:48 PM
By John Ewoldt

After dropping its price-matching program in 2002, Target has brought back its price-matching program in Minnesota, at least temporarily.   Last month, Target Corp. has started matching lower prices in competitors’ ads in a pilot program in the downtown Minneapolis and Medina stores, as well as 22 stores in Orlando and 28 in Denver, but Target spokesman David Fransen said the program has now been rolled out quietly to all Minnesota stores. If the program is a success, Target plans to make it nationwide in the fall.   Target dropped the program in 2002, a spokesperson said then, because too much time was spent verifying prices at checkout. This time, verification will be quicker, Target spokeswoman Delia McLinden said, because all matching is done through customer service, not at the checkout lanes.

   Under the new program, customers must bring in the entire ad, which must be current. Competitors’ prices that have expired will not be honored.

   McLinden said the policy was brought back in light of the recession. “We want to speak boldly about value and low prices and give customers peace of mind,” she said.

      Typically, stores that match competitors’ advertised prices have restrictions: no matching of percentage-off promotions, no doubling or tripling of coupons, no matching of “misprinted” advertised prices, Internet prices, nonlocal competitors, limited quantities, closeouts, or buy-one-get-one free coupons.

   Neither Target nor Wal-Mart usually will match prices within its own chain, even though products such as baby formula often have varying prices at stores within a few miles of each other. Why? It all depends on the competition nearby. The consumer’s best bet is always to hope that Target and Wal-Mart are near each other to get the lowest prices.

Target is also honoring the price match program in its Hudson, Wis. store.

13 Responses to "Target brings back price matching policy to all Minnesota stores"

Carrie Rocha says:

June 8th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

John – Do you know exactly how this works? Would I check out and pay the higehr price, then go to Custoemr Service for an adjustment? Thanks for keeping tabs on this. It’s great for us bargain shoppers! –Carrie

Ken N. says:

June 8th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Reason is false. When I worked for Target and they put the no price match policy into effect, the reason given is that Target is not a Warehouse for the other stores. This also happened right around November in time for Christmas shopping which is when all the ads were going to be coming out. Target did not want to match their competitors ads, especially for the day after Thanksgiving.

Go4it says:

June 8th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Great, does that mean it will bring back Minnesota jobs it moved to India and elsewhere overseas?

MNGopher says:

June 8th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

I would also be interested to know whether they plan to honor competing grocery store ads at their SuperTarget locations.

Nicole says:

June 8th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Since I work at a Target I will answer a few of the questions posted here.

MN Gopher- The will match most prices of grocery stores just not one the requires a membership like sams club or costco. Also if you buy some groceries at the regular targets you can get the prices matched there. The only thing you can not get priced match is something that says buy one get one free or something like that.

Carrie- no you dont have to buy the item first at the check out. you can bring the current ad and the item to guest service and they will do it all right there.

Average Joe says:

June 8th, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Can they do the matching at the register or does one have to go through the pain of going to the guest services counter?

Benjamin says:

June 8th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Average Joe – read the article again please……This time, verification will be quicker, Target spokeswoman Delia McLinden said, because all matching is done through customer service, not at the checkout lanes.

Average Joe says:

June 8th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

How is that quicker? Guest Services is slower than just going to the checkout and empowering the checkout person to verify.

Vikings1 says:

June 8th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Avg Joe: Do you think I want to wait in line while you haggle over $.50? It makes perfect sense to have Guest Services handle this so the checkout person can focus on the customers checking out.

jng says:

June 8th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Hey, Average Joe. That’s what Kohl’s does. Cashiers are given the power to price match so you don’t have to go to customer service. Maybe Target will be a little more lenient, like them.

Average Joe says:

June 8th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I don’t know, not trying to argue. But the law of averages says – one person at guest services, 3-4-5-6-7 checkout lines. I can stand in line behind five people at guest services all haggling over $.50, or take my chances that I’m the only one in a checkout line wanting to match a price.

Sandra Beaudoin says:

June 11th, 2009 at 9:25 am

Price matching at the register is a push of an “override price” key. I’m sure they are hoping most people won’t bother if it is too difficult (check out in line and then take price-match stuff to customer service — 2 stops/ 2 checks to write instead of 1, kids in the cart, gotta go, so forget it). Any possibility Target will get back into the rebate business?

Carrie Rocha says:

June 11th, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I called the Maple Grove Target today and got the full scoop on the rules around this. I put them all on my site at