I’m a movie buff. Just about everyone who reads this probably knows that, but if you don’t, check out my film blog to see what I mean. Back? Good.
When Zack Snyder’s Watchmen came out on July 21st, I was psyched. I have all the gear I need to really enjoy the film in all its 1080p Blu-Ray fidelity and a day or two before even went to a couple of Web sites to compare prices.
I noted that target.com had the best price: $21.49, so that morning I popped into the local Target and was a bit dismayed to find that it was priced on the shelf at $25.99.
I asked the customer service people if they’d match the online price, and they said “no, we can’t do that.”
“But,” I said, “Let me show you: on the Web site it says that the $21.49 is the in store price.” I showed her this:
On the site, as you can see, they’re promoting that it’s available in the store. Click on the ad graphic and you get to the price:
“Ah,” the manager explained, “you’d have to pay for shipping if you bought it from the Web site, so it’d end up the same price anyway.”
I wasn’t impressed. Seems to me that even if they want to price things differently online versus on the shelf, the store should at least have a policy of matching prices with its own Web site. That’s a customer-centric perspective, and apparently Target is more focused on preserving the integrity of its business silos.
So I walked out and went over to Best Buy, where, to their credit, the assistant manager pulled up the Target.com site, found that they were indeed offering Watchmen Blu-Ray for $21.49 and matched the price. The price tag on the Best Buy box? $29.99. Their online price for the movie on the bestbuy.com site? $22.99.
Big difference? Target said “no” and didn’t match prices with its Web site. Best Buy said “sure” and not only matched its own online price, but came down another $1.50 and matched the Target.com price.
Target, you might need to rethink this policy. Otherwise it seems like you’re ripping off your in-store customers without any recourse when one of them is savvy enough to catch on to what’s happening.