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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If you're looking for a bargain, then it's in your best interest to know what days Target retail stores take markdowns in each department. This information can help you get super deals on the best merchandise markdown at Target before the item on your shopping list sells out.

What Are Markdown Schedules?

Most department stores work off a markdown schedule and markdown merchandise in certain departments on certain days.

This is done because (especially in big box stores) there are so many pieces that require physical price changes. By breaking the work up by departments and by days, Target employees are better equipped to manage the task more efficiently.

Although retailers like Target must react quickly to competitive prices or other store changes (which means putting the markdown schedule on hold) for the most part, Target likes to stick to its schedule.  That said, you can always check with a sales associate to confirm the department-by-department markdown schedule.

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, Kitchen, Housewares, 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.

By knowing the markdown cycles, you can watch an item that you really want to purchase and try to hold out until it goes to at least 50 percent off or, if you like to gamble, 90 percent off.

Random Reductions on Clearance Items

Merchandise that is 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 in slow-selling clearance items while visiting stores.

The decision as to which items need to be markdown lower depends on how much quantity is left in stock and how quickly the item is selling. Prices can vary from store to store, including 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 and Target is no exception. During peak selling times (such as right after work), taking markdown may also be off limits. Peak selling periods also include four-day holidays, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving weekend, and the week before Christmas. That's because 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 cost you when you get to 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 right price for you.

If you're lucky enough to 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 the item 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 was returned either from a store purchase or an online purchase. This type of merchandise is generally priced lower than the same item being sold in it's original, unopened box. Be sure to check that all the parts and manuals are inside a repackaged box before making a purchase.