Maybe it's the straight pants, or maybe it's the running after children, but I'm liking my flats lately. Found some cute ones at Banana Republic last weekend: patent finish, pointy toe, bright, coral-y red. Best part: the price: $40.99 (marked down from $98). But they didn't have my size. The salesperson said I'd find them online, and I did – for $69.99! I complained to online customer service and received an email that said, in a nutshell, "sorry – we don't match store prices." Online, store – to me, and, I'm guessing, most consumers, it's all the same. There's no excuse for price differences – unless the online items are less, to compensate for shipping charges. Today's shopper jumps from online to stores and back again. She's extremely price sensitive and a $30 discrepancy serves only to make her suspicious of the company's prices across the board.
I found the shoes in my size at another store. Just checked Bananarepublic.com again, and it seems someone important must have read my email: the online price has been reduced to $49.99. Better, at least, but still offensive.
And they wonder why consumers abandon virtual shopping carts.
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Ann Taylor Loft also has some strange approaches to pricing. You get an email announcing a sale with certain sale items pictured. However, if you go to the store, the item may be on sale in regular sizes, but not petite. Exact same item, same style name, same original price.
It makes me crazy and much less likely to shop there.
I would love to see you do a column on pricing inconsistencies like those at BR and AT loft.