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Retail Chains To Strike Back Against Online Vendors 532

Hugh Pickens writes "Marissa Taylor says the retail chains' worst nightmare are consumers who come in to take a look at merchandise in-store, but use smartphone apps to shop for cheaper prices online. But now stores like low-end retail chain Target plan to fight 'showrooming' by scaling up their business models and asking vendors to create Target-exclusive products that can't be found online. 'The bottom line is that the more commoditized the product is, the more people are going to look for the cheapest price,' says Morningstar analyst Michael Keara. 'If there's a significant price difference [among retailers] and you're using it on a regular basis, you're going to go to Amazon.' Target recently sent an 'urgent' letter to vendors, asking them to 'create special products that would set it apart from competitors.' Target's letter insisted that it would not 'let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices without making investments, as we do, to proudly display your brands.' Target also announced that it had teamed up with a handful of unique specialty shops that will offer limited edition merchandise on a rotating basis within Target stores in hopes of creating an evolving shopping experience for customers. Target is 'exercising leverage over its vendors to achieve the same pricing that smaller, online-only retailers receive,' says Weinswig. 'This strategy would help Target compete with retailers like Amazon on like-for-like products.'"

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