Target to Match Rivals’ Online Prices Year-Round

Target Corp. (TGT), the second-largest U.S. discount retailer, plans to match the prices year-round charged by the e-commerce sites of Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Best Buy Co. and Toys “R” Us Inc. in a bid to boost sales.

The new policy, which takes effect immediately, will combine Target’s holiday-season price policies into one year- round and easy-to-use system, the Minneapolis-based company said in a statement. Target’s stores will also match the prices of goods found on its own website, it said.

Target has seen stagnant sales growth as U.S. low-priced retailers fight for market share among Americans hit by stubbornly high unemployment and the tepid housing recovery. Price-matching proliferates among the major U.S. retailers especially during November and December, which accounts for a large portion of their annual sales and profits.

Target dropped 1.1 percent $60.64 at the close in New York. The Minneapolis-based company’s shares gained 16 percent last year.

Target said it first started matching prices in 2009 and began matching select online competitors for the first time this past holiday season. The company’s revenue growth is projected to rise 5 percent in the current year, compared with 4 percent last year, according to the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

The retailer posted December same-store sales that were little changed, compared with an estimate for a 1.3 percent increase from Retail Metrics Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cotten Timberlake in Washington at ctimberlake@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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