Get the Insider Information on Target Stores Markdown Schedule

Knowing When Target Takes Markdowns Can Help You Get the Best Deals

Target Outdoor Sign
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Here is the insider information about the days that Target retail stores take markdowns in each department. This information can help you get super deals on the best merchandise markdown at Target before it sells out.

What Are Markdown Schedules?

Most department stores work off a markdown schedule, meaning certain departments are marked down on certain days. This is done because there are so many pieces that require physical price changes.

By breaking the work up by departments and by days, Target employees can manage the task more efficiently.

Figuring out when a department within a store is going to get marked down can be a real challenge. The best way is by playing detective and asking a friendly sales associate. This is much easier than camping out in the store daily and recording the activity in each department. Besides, one thing about retail; flexibility is the name of the game. Retailers must react quickly to competitive prices or other store changes, which could mean on certain days the markdown schedule is put on hold.

With that said, here is what we have learned about when Target usually takes markdowns in each department.

Target's Markdown Schedule

  • Monday:
    Baby Department, Electronics Department, Children's Clothing, Stationery and Office
  • Tuesday:
    Pets Department, Grocery Items, Bed & Bath, Women's Clothing Department
  • Wednesday:
    Toys Department, Beauty & Health, Patio & Garden Department, Men's Clothing Department
  • Thursday:
    Books, KitchenHousewares, Shoe Department, Movies, Music, Luggage, Lingerie, Sports Department
  • Friday:
    Auto Department, Hardware Department, Home Improvement, Jewelry Department, Cosmetics

Markdown Cycle

When an item is marked down at Target for the first time it is usually reduced by 15 percent.

The second markdown is usually 30 percent off the original price. The third markdown will go to 50 percent off, then 70 percent and sometimes 90 percent off.

The markdown cycle for most clearance product is two weeks. For example, if on March 1 an item is marked down for the first time by 15 percent, the next markdown to 30 percent will be done two weeks later or around March 15.  Next, it will be marked down to 50 percent off around March 22. If the item fails to sell, it will then go 70 percent off around April 5.

By knowing the markdown cycles, you can watch items that you really want purchase and try to hold out until it goes to at least 50 percent off.

Random Reductions on Clearance Items

Merchandise that is on final clearance and is not selling will continue to be reduced every two weeks. The Store Manager is responsible for deciding which clearance items need further reduction, although  District Managers may authorize further reductions on slow selling clearance items while visiting stores.

The decision on which items need to be markdown lower depends on how much quantity is left and how quickly it is selling. Prices can vary from store to store, even within stores located in the same city.


Use the In-Store Scanners

Most retailers will not take markdowns on Saturday and Sunday because the stores are too busy. This holds true for Target as well. During peak selling times, taking markdown may also be off limits. This includes four-day holidays, Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend, and the week before Christmas. The employees may not have time to get to all the physical markdowns during these critical selling periods.

Fortunately, Target has in-store scanner (or price checker) machines located around the store. The scanners are particularly helpful when stores are busy and the markdowns are in the register system, but the stickers have not been placed on the merchandise. If you want to see how much an item will ring up for at the register, just scan the item. This also gives you time to track down an employee if you have a question about a price, rather than trying to get a busy cashier to find someone to get the price information.

Find an item that is a one of a kind? This type of merchandise is often drastically reduced for quick sale. Be sure to check it with the scanner to find out the real selling price. 

If you have a problem getting a scanner to work, an employee can check the price for you.

Deals on Repackaged Items

Repackaged items or items in damaged boxes could be an item that a was returned either from a store purchase or an online purchase. This type of merchandise is generally priced lower than the same items that are not in a repackaged box. Be certain to check that all the parts and manuals are inside the box. If the item is complete and you want it, go ahead and buy it at the extra discounted price.