2015 was no banner year for in-store retail inventory. If department stores weren’t clogged with stock, they couldn’t move due to warm winter weather, then delays and roadblocks somewhere down the supply chain caused merchants like Target to offer shoppers nothing but empty shelves for weeks at a time. While the solutions are varied and difficult to implement, Target at least is taking steps to eliminate one of its inventory vampires.
Target is reportedly cracking down on resellers after officially banning them from the store in 2015, according to an internal document obtained by EcommerceBytes. The policy update instructs store associates on the finer points of identifying resellers before they get anywhere close to the checkout counter, such as collecting large quantities of a single product, attempting to use several discounts on a single purchase or buying quantity-limited items in successive purchases to avoid restrictions.
While it’s unclear whether the documents are intended to serve as standalone instructions or as notices of upcoming training programs, it’s clear that the notices indicate that Target is taking steps to make life a little harder for resellers that walk in its superstores.
“Resellers continue to erode profit at Target, especially when merchandise is on ad/promo,” the documents from Target read. “Resellers abuse Target discounts and exploit system vulnerabilities to obtain merchandise at a value below our cost, then sell it at a higher price for personal profit. Last year, sales to resellers cost Target an estimated $13 million!”
As the flyers were leaked internally, there was no word from Target confirming the new policy. However, if the retailer continues to run limited promotions with boutique fashion designers, like Lilly Pulitzer and Marimekko, it can only make sense that Target is interested in minimizing the number of highly sought-after items that just end up on eBay hours later.