Target Stores Act to Stop “Showrooming”

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For the specialist, and for any brick and mortar store, a concern is that consumers are using your shop as a showroom, only to leave empty-handed and price shop online.

Target stores

Target is doing something about it.  According to the AP and other reports,  Target sent a letter to its suppliers, asking them to help stop “showrooming.”  The chain wants suppliers to create special versions of products for the retailer that can not be found online.   It may also launch a subscription plan, so if a person regularly shops for certain merchandise (such as diapers or coffee), he gets a discount.

Vendors are expected to comply with Target’s requests because of the 1,800-store chain’s massive purchasing power. And other retailers including Best Buy may follow suit, analysts told The Wall Street Journal.

Estimates place online sales at Walmart and Target at only 1-2 percent of sales.

Also, last week Target announced that it is collaborating with a small number of boutique shops that will offer merchandise in its stores on a rotating basis, to create a constantly changing shopping experience at its stores.   All Target locations will carry the merchandise as well as Target online.  Target is also expanding Apple displays at its stores.


Source: AP via CBS Money Watch, The Wall Street Journal

Photo via Business Insider

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  1. If we want to stop showrooming as it stands per se, then the manufacturers have to be less focused on VOLUME. They need to enforce MAP, police their lines for authorized dealers, and prevent the madness they created in the past 10 years from totally destroying our industry.

    They also need to stop pricing their product on their own manufacturer website and allowing people to “add to shopping cart” or “buy direct” from them in that same environment. If you are going to even pretend to support distribution and end-retailers selling your product, then you have to hold the line and make the discounts equal to ALL your authorized dealers.

    Nothing frustrates me more these days then bidding and quoting a big job/install with a name brand TV, barely making 12 points profit on it if I’m lucky, only to have the consumer come back to me a day later to find that Brand “S” has reduced the price of the TV on their own website, to sometimes my cost at distributor level, or even below it in some cases!

    The special “version” or product number doesn’t really fool ANY smart, internet-wielding, money-conscious consumer these days. You can walk into Costco/Best Buy/Wal-Mart/Target, etc. and find many products from the major brands we sell, missing the last digit of the “retail” model number. Ooooo, that will fool Mr. Consumer for sure! To fool them, we’re talking a different silk screened logo on the unit, and one less letter on the cardboard box.

    Target may realize it now, but their request for re-branding or specialized store SKU’s is an old idea, that they are way behind in asking for. If MAP was enforced and policed by ALL of the manufacturers on the internet, things might get better.

  2. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Sears are just a few. They have been using unique part numbers on identical products for years to avoid cross shopping and to confuse consumers. This is no surprise and defiantly not something they are just no considering. That and the addition of \"store\" brands, that in some cases are more expensive than the name brand (people assume they are the cheaper alternative an purchase without looking)is another avenue they use to deceive you.

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