According to an investigation conducted by the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, the prices of numerous products on Target’s app appear to rise the closer a potential customer gets to a brick and mortar Target location:
For instance, Target’s app price for a particular Samsung 55-inch Smart TV was $499.99, but when we pulled into the parking lot of the Minnetonka store that price suddenly increased to $599.99 on the app.
How’s this even happening? When you get Target’s app, it asks if it can access your location. They’ve been using locator “services” since September 2017. Your phone’s GPS tracking then tells Target where you’re at. If it determines you’re heading into a store, the app changes the prices to reflect what the tags in the store say.
Best case scenario is that this is a bit of reverse price matching. Nobody likes continuity errors. Yet it sure seems convenient that it’s a one way street, in favor of Target charging you more.
Building, maintaining, and staffing a store costs money. Are products in stores universally more expensive than online? Nah. Can you get a better deal in store sometimes compared to online? I’m sure that can be the case.
But this looks… bad. And I’m guessing it’s all perfectly legal. In fact, it’s probably something you opted into when you checked the box that said “I agree to the terms and conditions” of the Target app.
Here’s a tip for Target: If you’re in a retail war with the likes of Amazon and Walmart, try not to look like “the enemy” to your greatest ally; your customers.
Big thanks to Adam T. for the tip on the KARE 11 story.
Oh Tar-zhay… You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.