A word to the wise, or just any retailer paying attention.

It's starting to happen. It is the Christmas holiday shopping season. With times being tough the barginistas are out in full force. They are scouring ever inch of the earth for a deal and fair warning they are rabid in their determination.

Now don't get me wrong. My wife and I love finding deals and rarely is it my wife walks out of a grocery store without getting a minimum of a 20-30% off the shopping trip using coupons etc. So I am not saying its bad, but I think that there are folks out there who value their savings more than anything else including the financial health of the retailer.

The thing that is bringing this to the forefront today is a price matching issue some are having with Target. Targets pricing policy is posted on their web site and according to some it now "changed" with the end result screwing them out of a discount on a item price matched from Toys R Us. I looked into this and I don't agree. It looks to me like they may have clarified and required their stores to enforce the existing policy. Here are a few links;

Targets price match policy from November 10th in Google's cache

Their up to date policy, note its word for word character for character the same(I compared them with a text comparison app). Note also that both of these pages are press release info.

A blog post from a reader with linkage to the clarfied version of the press release, note this blog post is from Septermber

And finally a blog post with some good comments about the new policy right around the time it went in effect in June of 2009.

So really from the looks of it to me, the policy is clear. The bone of contention here now is a 2 day ad that Toys R Us is distributing only in store. If you note in the policy on this page it says they will not match timed sales or door busters. That's what this Toys R Us ad is, "a special 2-day sale ad for Friday and Saturday that will be valid from Friday at 3 PM – Saturday at 1 PM". So some people ran into a roadblock with Target and they are pissed and some managed to argue and bully Target into matching it anyway. The venom tho that is being spewed is amazing, some of the folks that feel their rights have been violated are amazing. Remember in the end that Target can refuse service to anyone folks. Also remember that all retailers are hurting for money this season so they need money, milking them to save every penny at this time may not be the wisest thing if you want to see them around next year.

I don't know for sure that Target hasn't changed their policy but sometimes in business folks have to deal with an issue after it arises because no one has the foresight for every possible situation.