storewanderer wrote: ↑December 5th, 2023, 1:07 amThis has been happening with the drugstore chains too. They had lower prices on their websites if you did pick up (especially Rite Aid and Walgreens). In recent months they've done a lot of website price increases but if you are at a store in a high price zone the website is still quite cheaper than the store. For instance some pick up I did with Rite Aid using the 35% off pick up code they did I noticed the items on the website (OTC type items) were still 0.50-$1 less on the website than in the store. There was one item I did that was 0.50 more on the website than in the store but the 35% off code they did around Black Friday more than made up for it. They also routinely have promo codes for pick up orders usually with some kind of minimum purchase. For instance Rite Aid around Black Friday was 35% off pick up orders $30 minimum but that is based on full prices before coupons or buy 1 get 1 free, also their 35% off discounts before a coupon is applied. Walgreens was 25% off most of last week. Walgreens gives you the 25% off after coupons but for subtotal purposes if they have a minimum you can apply it before coupons (like a $25 order with $8 of manufacturer digital coupons - the 25% off $25 minimum code will work but you'll get 25% off $17).mbz321 wrote: ↑December 4th, 2023, 8:11 pm I mentioned this in another thread, but Target seems to be in this position. Special online prices/promotions for Pickup/DriveUp orders, but how is that going to draw people into the store to get them to spend more? It seems absolutely backwards to me. (To be fair, Target will match the online prices if you ask at checkout, but it's still an annoyance).
Then there is CVS.com who has a 30% off pick up orders code no minimum purchase. I have found in many cases the CVS.com pricing is higher than my local stores so you have to watch with that operation. CVS gives you the 30% off after coupons/extra buck redemption also so it isn't very generous.
Target.com if you do a shipping order involving a lot of consumables/food/drug/pet you can reset your store and the prices will change and for a ship order you will pay the prices from whatever you set as your "pick up" store. I recently did a ship order and the prices were all different depending what I set my pick up store to (even though I was doing a ship order). I set it to a store many states away and my total dropped by 20%+. Some other stores my total would only drop by maybe 5%. If I set it to a store in say San Francisco then my total went up 10-15%.
I would not consider zone pricing workarounds to be a way these retailers offer a discount intentionally to those who manipulate their systems.
Target zone pricing as seen here is an issue and sounds like many have figured out ways around it, but they've aggressively reduced the discounts they were offering for Drive Up orders. Before you would see huge special coupon deals only for Drive Up, all the TV commercials were about Drive Up, etc. That is no longer the case. They changed their ad campaigns earlier this year, are using a different slogan that hasn't been officially "announced" the way Target PR normally does (slogan is "that's Totally Target"), and are back to focusing on the lifestyle and affordability aspect of shopping Target. In other words same ads they used to run with the long-standing Expect More, Pay Less campaign. I do not believe that they are doing anything to encourage people to choose Drive Up over in store anymore, quite the opposite in fact with the Circle loyalty offers that are only in store right now.
This discussion is something I started to raise here a lot over the last month, that retailers are starting to wake up with the rising labor costs and never ending obsolescence cycles of multi-million dollar e-commerce applications and systems. They are not getting a return on their investment and they likely never will when you consider that sales floor people who used to be tasked with service, recovery, and light stocking in retailers are now all focused only on pulling online orders and oblivious in most cases to the bands of thieves who are looting the place an aisle away. They are realizing that the cost of shopping for the customer from a labor perspective is between 20-30 minutes per order unless the store is doing a phenomenal number of orders and the retailer has purchased extremely expensive software that integrates with space planning systems to "batch" orders so that an employee can make a single trip to pull 30+ orders in aisle number order with a computer generated shopping list that starts at one end of the store and ends at the other.
The retailers who I believe are waking up are: Home Depot, Lowe's, Sam's Club, and Kohl's who have all either mentioned specifically that they're reducing the push for pickup orders (Kohl's), eliminating curbside (Kohl's), adding fees (Sam's), or basically stopped advertising it entirely (Home Depot and Lowe's).
I'm going to disagree with the consensus here and say Target is waking up too and following the lead of Walmart, who is probably the only other retailer who has pushed for enough volume in conjunction with the right systems and procedures for order batching and space mapping systems. These software solutions can reduce the labor of order picking by an astonishing 95% as they send an employee out once orders have piled up and the system has sent them with a new "pick list" in aisle order for a single trip. The software helps them sort by order once the trip around the store is done. I have read comments from incredulously entitled customers who don't understand these systems which give estimates of pickup time. They place their orders from the Starbucks next door and then complain that their order isn't done instantaneously as if they have their own personal shopper who is going to drop everything to roam the aisles for their can of dog food, trash bags and package of Preparation-H. But the retailers are getting smarter and can afford to lose that sale from the unreasonable customer who isn't going to find any better service elsewhere.
The retailers who in my mind have let their stores go straight to hell operationally, physically, etc. to pursue this fruitless online pickup first exercise include in my mind CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Office Depot, Kroger, PetSmart, Michaels, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Big Lots. What they all have in common (except for Kroger) is small order sizes of just a few items and likely small numbers of orders each hour which make it impossible to reduce the labor with the expensive software as they won't have enough orders to "batch" for a single trip around the store before the customer shows up, except maybe in the morning before opening. So they must always have staff dedicated to pulling orders basically one at a time. If they wait too long then the item might be selected by a in-store customer and run out so then a refund will have to be issued. For that reason a model of "your order will be ready to pick up tomorrow at opening" doesn't work well for these small stores. In my eyes all of them should stop pickup service entirely and just switch to Instacart or Shipt. It would allow them to run their own businesses again and move the labor back to serving the customer, maintaining the store, and also added bonus of reducing shrink. Heck, it might mean lowering prices too. Meanwhile the customer who wants the personal shopping service actually has to pay the cost of it, instead of everyone else paying with either higher prices with the cost baked in or forced self-service options like some of these stores have made where nearly all the registers are replaced by self checkout. We all know damned well that part of the inflation issue has been retailers pushing the costs of these services back onto the customer wherever they can.
I firmly believe that the next 12 to 18 months are going to be an awakening for the retail industry as more and more of them stand up to Wall Street and say "look, you clowns wanted us to add these services, but you value profits even more. This stuff isn't profitable and our sales and earnings will go up dramatically if we drop it.". I think most of these chains are running negative units per transaction and have ever since they started the online push. That means that even if they lose a few customers by curtailed pickup, it they will offset them with increased sales through higher units per transaction from more in store impulse buys and better overall store conditions (fuller shelves).