Target Institutes Price Matching Policy to Save Stores
After losing a reported $1 billion since launching their Canadian chain last year, Target is looking to draw customers into their stores through price matching.
Beginning this week, consumers can present digital flyers from selected online Canadian retailers and Target will match that price. The list of retailers includes Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Futureshop.ca, ToysRUs.ca, BabiesRUs.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Sears.ca, and Amazon.ca. Lisa Gibson, a spokesperson for Target Canada, confirmed the new policy.
Target will also match any other retailers advertising within the local area. However, Canada-wide price matching is not permitted, according to an email that Gibson sent to CBC News.
A recent news release from Target stated, “We'll continue to offer price matching if a guest buys a qualifying item at a Target store and then finds the identical item for less in the following week's Target flyer. To deliver fast service with unbeatable prices, price matching is now available at any check lane, not only the Guest Service desk.”
Wal-Mart has a similar policy called “Ad Match.” It also allows for price matching within the local area. Despite that, online consumers have been reporting incidents of individual Wal-Mart store managers deviating from the policy since last winter. Because of this, online forums where users seek out the lowest prices in Canada have grown.
Halifax shopper Nichola Fish-Cumine told CBC that her family has saved hundreds of dollars each month using the policy, with the help of social media.
"There's so many forums out there. A lot of us will help each other find out where those sales are," Fish-Cumine said.
Target faces a substantial battle in turning around its troubled 127 stores within Canada, which collectively employ roughly 20,000 people. The company recently released an “apology” video on Youtube that featured members of management and store employees expressing remorse for their shaky foray into the market and promising to make a better showing in the future.
“Maybe we didn’t put our best foot forward when we entered into Canada,” Damien Liddle, senior corporate counsel with Target Canada, said in the video. “We had some disappointments. Certainly we think we’ve disappointed our guests.”
From the looks of it, the company seems acutely aware of their mistakes. The majority of customer complaints seemed to involve empty shelves and unreasonably high prices. A contrite Target team member closed the video by reading a tweet from a customer that said, “If you want a second chance with Canadian customers, live up to the motto. You can’t say ‘expect more.’” At this point, it seems that Target will have to exceed Canadians’ expectations in order to make it in the market.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”