New York Target Corp. has thrown itself into a heated online price war on books.
The Minneapolis-based discounter said Monday that it will offer some of this season’s most anticipated book titles at $8.99, in line with recent moves by Walmart.com and Amazon.com.
The price war, occurring as the critical holiday shopping season gets under way, is bad news for independent bookstores, as well as the large chain bookstores Borders Group Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. These chains have seen their sales and profits squeezed by discounting and a decline in their music business.
All three sellers are almost certainly taking a loss on the sales of these books in order to bring in customers. Retailers usually pay just more than half of a book’s cover price.