Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Target vs. WalMart - How do they compare?

A little more than a month ago, Target Stores came to Ontario, with the first three stores opening in Fergus, Guelph and Milton. Once the good weather arrives my friend and I will resume our biweekly day trips, with our first one planned to check out the Target Store in Fergus. There was a lot of hoopla surrounding the openings so it will be interesting to see for ourselves if all that was warranted. In the meantime, I'm getting ready for our trip. I've received the Target Debit Card (Red Card) and familiarized myself with their store policy. On the surface their policy appears much the same as WalMart's, but a closer look showed up some notable differences as described below. (Refers to Canadian Store Policies only.)

Target’s Price Match vs. WalMart's AdMatch:
  • Both will match the price of identical items listed in local competitors’ printed ad (local competitor determined by store). While WalMart will AdMatch the competitors' current price, Target will also match the price of identical items listed for less in the following week’s Target flyer. Identical means the same brand, size, weight, colour, quantity and model number;
  • Target requires price-match to be requested at guest services prior to purchase with proof of lower price. AdMatch takes place at checkout with competitor’s ad not required;
  • WalMart will AdMatch produce and meat when the price is offered in the same unit type (lb. for lb., each for each, etc.). Target will not price-match produce and meat;
  • Both have same general restrictions – no clearance, closeout, damaged products; no ads when the actual price cannot be determined; no percent or dollar off with no price specified, no pricing or typographical errors; No mobile offers or internet prices.
  • Customer (or guest) must request the rain-check for out-of-stock advertised items at customer service (guest services);
  • Both stores may offer substitutions – again by request;
  • Similar restrictions apply – while supplies last, bonus, and limited quantity items do not qualify. Both stores may limit the number of items applied to the rain-check;
  • Big difference – Target issues a rain-check for each item: 4 bags of sugar=4 rain-checks, WalMart issues one rain-check per product: 4 bags of sugar=1 rain-check (4 units). Target guests have 30 days to redeem rain-checks. WalMart has the better policy in that customers can redeem rain-checks, one unit at a time, over a 90 day period, until all units have been redeemed.
  • Both stores allow most general merchandise (must have original accessories, packaging and receipt) to be returned within 90 days; 
  • For computers, portable video players, GPS Units, Wireless prepaid phones, etc.,Walmart allows 14 days while Target allows 30;
  • Both stores allow 30 days for TV’s, Home Audio Systems. Target allows exchanges of opened music, movies, video games and software; WalMart will not accept returns of those products.
  • Both stores accept manufacturer coupons if they are original (no copies), legible, with Manufacturer Coupon printed on them, valid in Canada, have a correct remit address, a valid expiration date, and a scannable bar code. Items purchased must be identical to coupon description;
  • Both will accept manufacturers coupons (showing specified price) for dollars/cents off, for free items (except those printed off the internet), and Buy one, get one free (BOGO coupons);
  • WalMart will accept competitors coupons if for a specific item at a specified price – Target will not;
  • Coupons can only be accepted for merchandise sold in store and must be presented at time of purchase;
  • WalMart – One coupon per item and no limit to coupon transactions;
  • Target - One Manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon per item (unless prohibited by coupon terms) and limit of four identical coupons per household per day, unless otherwise noted;
  • Target – Coupon amount may be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied. No cash back;
  • WalMart – If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.
Loyalty Program.
  • Target Red Card: This is where Target really shines. Using either the Target Debit Card or Target RBC Master Card provides 5% savings on most merchandise purchased in the store. Exceptions apply and include pharmacy and mobile services. Using the Target RBC Master Card at other locations earns rewards towards Target Gift Cards. No Annual Fee. 
  • WalMart Master Card: Earn 1.25% of purchase in WalMart Rewards for virtually every dollar spent in WalMart stores. Earn 1% of purchase in WalMart Rewards in other locations where MasterCard is accepted. 
Assuming that the quality and price of the merchandise is comparable, it would appear that shopping at WalMart is slightly more convenient and less time consuming while Target may offer the shopper a few more ways to save.

1 comment :

  1. That was interesting. I've been a loyal shopper of Targets for a long time and this is the first time I understood (looked at) what the Red Card did and din't do versus Walmart. Thank you for that. :-)


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