Amazon keeps Target in its retail-selling crosshairs

The retail war between Amazon and Target is moving north of the border as Amazon announced today its Canadian site is launching its popular unlimited two-day shipping program.

The move by the global e-commerce web retailer is just two months ahead of the national launch of Mississauga-based Target Canada. The discount chain is opening 124 Canadian stores starting in March, including six in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville.

The annual membership fee for the Canadian Amazon Prime membership program is $79, which covers the cost of unlimited two-day shipping on many of the site’s items. Currently the membership service is also available in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and France.

The announcement is notable because it happened on the same day that Target said its U.S.-based website would match the online prices of some rival retailers – like Walmart.com, toysrus.com and Amazon.com – year-round. The price-matching policy was introduced during the holiday season but only made permanent today.

Target is aggressively fighting back against the practice of “showrooming” – where customers scope out merchandise in person before looking for other prices online – by also offering an additional five per cent discount when they use a Target credit card.

For months Canadian retailers, including Mississauga-based Walmart Canada, have been preparing for the arrival of the popular discount chain known for its cheap-chic goods, exclusive big-name designer lines and a shopping destination for First Lady Michelle Obama.

In November, Amazon.ca announced it was increasing the number of goods sold on the Canadian-based site.

 

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