December 7, 2023

When do identical products have two different prices at the same store? When they’re sold At Target, obviously

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.53.16 PMBy Chris Morran From Consumerist

Target’s pricing and labeling incompetence is so legendary that we now use the term “Target Math” to describe a situation where any retailer baffles customers by, for example, advertising a “sale” that is more expensive than the everyday price, or where percentages are irrelevant, or when the economy of buying in bulk is turned on its ear. The latest fuzzy math from Target involves charging two different prices for identical items, including infant ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

KSHB-TV in Kansas City [Warning: Auto-play video at link] investigated after hearing that a local Target customers were paying more for infant formula painkillers if they purchased them in the baby aisle than if these same items were purchased in the regular pharmacy section.

Reporters purchased two different types of infant Motrin from these sections and found that both cost more (upwards of one dollar) when purchased from the baby supplies section. Likewise, infant formula Tylenol was $.40 more when they didn’t get it from the regular pharmacy section shelves.

The baby section versions were identical, except they had been stickered over with new barcodes so that they wouldn’t ring up as the same item found elsewhere in the store, leading some to wonder if the retailer was trying to cash in on new parents who might not think to look in the pharmacy section.

According to KSHB, this was a nationwide glitch, not just a single errant Target store.

Target claims an “error in our pricing system” is to blame, meaning this is just another example of why kids today should be taught Target Math in elementary school.

“We apologize for this inadvertent error and the confusion it has caused,” reads a statement from the retailer. “Once we were made aware of the issue, we updated the pricing systems to reflect accurate and consistent pricing of these dually-located items. The consistent, revised pricing is now displayed in our store.

“Guests who bought these items within the baby department can bring their receipt to Guest Service at their local Target store, and the price difference will be refunded.”

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