Since its opening in August 2017, the Village Target has been viewed as a convenient retail store for on-the-go college students and members of the community, but the location has inflated prices for many everyday items. Additionally, the store does not openly display its price-match policy that could save shoppers several dollars per trip.
“[It’s a] terrible place, raising the prices of items in this specific branch in order to rip off students who do not have other options or convenient places to buy stuff,” said Yair Beres, a Google local guide reviewer of over 140 locations. “Multiple times I saw items with price increases of 20-40% compared to other Targets.”
While most items are advertised as “on sale” inside the store, multiple day-to-day necessities are actually more expensive than their listed price online.
“Natural pads and tampons are so expensive,” said Mykael Cammorto, a sophomore in the School of Cinematic Arts.
The price of the cheapest natural pads inside the USC Target, Target’s store brand Up&Up, is $3.99, 20 cents higher than the price that the Target website lists for its Village location.
All food and clothing item prices are identical to their online listings, but the trend of inflated prices holds true for nearly all hygiene, hair care and beauty products — all of which can only be bought at one retail location within the Village, Target.
For discrepancies between in-store and online prices, Target has a price-match guarantee policy similar to other retail chains.
However, the Village Target has no advertisement of the policy inside or outside the store, leaving many shoppers unaware of potential savings.
After making use of the policy, one particular customer took advertising the price match guarantee into her own hands, urging those behind her in the checkout line to do the same.
“The policy has saved me over a dollar per item,” said Rosy Horta, a local school teacher at USC Performing Arts Magnet. “I think [the price match policy isn’t advertised] because Target is trying to get the most from consumers, and they’re assuming that this is USC and USC students can afford to pay this price, so they’re just going to set it as that.”
Some USC students know of the policy but, for financial purposes, have begun to stay away from the Village Target altogether.
“I never use [the price match policy],” said Natalie Bosu, a student in the Marshall School of Business. “I just avoid the Target if I can because I know if I can think of what I need two days in advance I can order it and it’s usually a lower price.”
A Target spokesperson reached out to Annenberg Media regarding their price match policy after publication.
“We’re committed to providing value to our guests and that includes being priced competitively online and in stores," they said in an email. "While pricing and promotions may vary, Target’s price match policy allows guests to match the price of any item they see at Target or from a competitor, assuring they can always get the lowest price”
Updated Dec. 5, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. with comment from Target spokesperson.