October 16, 2012 / 6:44 PM / in 8 years

Target to match some online prices this holiday season

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) will match certain online retailers’ prices this holiday season as the discount chain tries to stand out during what could be a fierce fight for shoppers, Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said on Tuesday.

A Target shopper pushes her card outside a store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Target will let customers match prices from online retailers including Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Walmart.com (WMT.N), BestBuy.com (BBY.N), Toysrus.com TOY.UL and Babiesrus.com between November 1 and December 16, the company told reporters at a meeting in New York.

Target’s strategy includes being “highly promotional” and “intensely competitive” on price, while also promoting exclusive merchandise, Steinhafel said.

Target said it will offer an additional week, through December 24, on its matching price policy for any lower prices found on its Target.com site, which sometimes differ from the prices in its stores, and in the print advertisements of other retailers.

Steinhafel said he is “confident” Target will meet its financial goals for the year, even though consumer confidence, while rising, remains largely below where it was before the devastating 2007-2009 recession.

Last week, Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary October reading showed consumer sentiment at its highest level in five years.

Like its rivals, Target is taking nothing for granted and is taking new steps to bring in shoppers. Earlier this month, Toys R Us said it would offer price matching at its namesake and Babies R Us stores.

In December, Target and upscale department store Neiman Marcus Group Inc NMRCUS.UL will sell a joint line of holiday goods in their stores. Target said the vast majority of the products in the holiday collection with Neiman Marcus are priced below $60, though some are as high as $499.99. Target is set to open its first international stores in Canada in 2013.

Target will also give its REDcard credit and debit card holders an extra 30 days to return nearly all purchases made with the cards.

Beyond its Christmas period initiatives, Target has been adding a wider variety of food to more locations, opening smaller city stores and offering a 5 percent discount to its card holders to entice shoppers to visit more often.

Target shares were up 1.6 percent, outpacing the 0.3 percent gain on the S&P Retail Index .RLX

Additional writing by Phil Wahba; editing by Prudence Crowther and Leslie Adler

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