2016/08/29

Target Holds Big Sale To Win Back Shoppers

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Target is hosting a one-day sale offering 10% off a total purchase on Sunday Aug. 27 — both online and in stores. There is also a buy one get one (BOGO) free offer on school supplies and a bid for Pokémon GO dollars.
It’s not quite a fire sale, but it does feel like a plea for shoppersfollowing disappointing second quarter sales and its first decline in two years.
Executives attributed the decline to a variety of things including slower sales of Apple products and fresh foods. And while there was no admission that a consumer boycott of stores following a controversial statement about transgender restroom use, the company said it would spend $20 million to install single-party bathrooms for shoppers made uncomfortable by the prospect of sharing a restroom.
Clearly traffic is down. Lowering prices and stepping up differentiation efforts is important.
Competitors Walmart and Dollar General are engaged in a price war in a bid for the discount shopper. Target has tended to avoid this by offering a compelling mix of fashion, cache and low prices that Walmart can’t match.
Still, low-prices are part of its value equation and offering a discount for the end of back-to-school shopping could help boost sales, if not profits.
As for differentiation, Target has painted bollards (those big red balls outside store entrances) at more than 400 Target to look likegiant Poké Balls. Inside are new displays of Pokémon merchandise including including backpacks, trading cards, video games and apparel. Target is asking shoppers to share their finds and experience hunting characters on social media with the hashtag #TargetRun.
Target is running sales, but will shoppers run to Target?
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