At least one brand’s e-mail prank caused some social media backlash among consumers.
The chain will match in its stores the web prices of 11 other merchants.
Retail chain giant Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. has enhanced its in-store price-matching program to include prices on 11 of its competitors’ e-commerce sites, the chain said today. Those sites are Walmart.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, Sears.com, Kmart.com, BuyBuyBaby.com, Meijer.com, FredMeyer.com, Diapers.com, BabyDepot.com and Amazon.com (excluding the Amazon marketplace, through which retailers other than Amazon sell on Amazon.com).
Toys ‘R’ Us also matches prices on its e-commerce sites, ToysRUs.com and BabiesRUs.com, it says, though not for its online-only deals. Nor will it match competitors’ online prices during the Thanksgiving holiday shopping period, from Sunday, Nov. 17 to Cyber Mondayon Nov. 25, when it will be running other exclusive promotions instead, it says. (Walmart.com plans its own “Cyber Monday” for back-to-school shoppers.)
“With online shopping growing rapidly, the addition of online competitors to our already strong price-match guarantee enables consumers to take advantage of our vast assortment of toys and juvenile products, while being assured they are getting the best price,” says Richard Barry, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Toys ‘R’ Us.
The retailer last October launched its price-match guarantee, which allows customers to bring in competitors’ print ads displaying lower prices on identical products to receive the lower price inside Toys ‘R’ Us stores. Shoppers receive the lower price at checkout, or retroactively within seven days of making a purchase if they find the product for a lower price elsewhere and bring in evidence and a valid receipt, the retailer says. They are allowed to buy only up to two identical items with the lower price, it says.
Other large retailers, including Target Corp., also launched price-matching programs in stores before the holidays last year. In January, Target made its price-matching program permanent. However, it does not match competitors’ web pricing in stores.
Electronics seller Best Buy Co. Inc. does, though. Earlier this year, the retailer announced it would match competitors’ online prices in order to squash “showrooming” in its stores. That’s when customers walk in to a store to look at products but use their smartphones to find the same products online and buy from a competitor with cheaper prices.
Web-only e-retailers are also testing online price matching. Last year in November and December, electronics e-retailer Newegg Inc. ran an online price-matching promotion, as did payments processor PayPal Inc., a unit of eBay Inc., but neither company continued the program into 2013. And last week, web-only flash-sales site Fab.com announced it will offer price-match refunds to shoppers who e-mail links showing a cheaper price for identical products on an online competitors’ site within 14 days of making a purchase.
Toys ‘R’ Us is No. 30 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide. Walmart.com is No. 4; Best Buy, No. 10; Sears Holdings Corp. (which owns Kmart.com), No. 6; Meijer Inc., No. 3; Amazon.com Inc. (which owns Diapers.com), No. 1; Target, No. 18; Newegg, No. 14; and Fab.com, No. 150.