Target updates app after TV station reveals pricing jump

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has modified its smartphone app after a Minneapolis TV station reported that prices displayed on the app went up whenever users approached the retailer's stores, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.

KARE-TV reports that the Minneapolis-based retailer recently released an updated version of its app that now clearly labels "online" or "in-store" prices next to each product. The update follows the station's investigation into customer concerns about price jumps on the app depending on when users were inside or outside of a Target store.

The app asks users for access to their location, which enables them to find nearby stores or where specific items are located. But the location-tracking function also appeared to trigger price changes as users entered Target parking lots. Target told KARE that the prices on the app changed to reflect in-store pricing when users were inside the store. When people would leave the store, users noticed that some prices on the app would go down, returning to their online prices. You can read more about their investigation here.

A Target spokeswoman says the changes make it easier for customers to understand its pricing policy.