Instead of selling their bananas by weight, Target sells their bananas "by the each."
Meaning, instead of charging a certain amount per pound, Target shoppers are charged a set price for each banana.
This pricing sets the big box retailer apart from competitors, but it's the awkward phrasing that amuses and befuddles customers, who have taken to social media to discuss it.
Target spokeswoman Kate Decker said in an emailed statement that only smaller stores that don't have produce scales use the "by the each" pricing format. Larger stores, such as Super Targets, sell by the pound, she said.
"This is not a new initiative," she said.
As far as the phrasing or possible grammatical faux pas, she did not provide comment.
On Reddit, users had a field day with the topic.
Posted in the /R/mildlyinteresting tag last year, there have been 1,974 comments and 42.2K upvotes in the thread about the subject.
Across the social universe, users are confused and entertained. Some call Target's pricing a bamboozle, while others are still trying to make sense of "by the each."
"I used to work for Target. People would come up with six bananas praising how cheap they were," wrote Reddit user magusdave. "Then I'd hit them with the truth. Of course, they would say I'm wrong, we'd walk over to the bananas and I'd read out the tag. Anger would engulf their hearts and proceed to tell me I'm ripping them off. Good times."
Others debated the English lexicon.
Reddit user althalin wrote: "Yup. And as much as I hate it, 'eaches' is actually the plural."
Reddit user jpflathead responded: "near as I can tell (u/exclysm ) 'each' and 'eaches' are entirely different 'words.' Each is an adjective or adverb so there is no plural. 'Eaches' is a neologism made up by people who sell things who needed a new word to mean something similar but different and more specific than item or unit."
However, quirky as it might sound, "by the each" is common among retailers whose inventory and shipping information needs to have a standardized format.
"Within the (Global Data Synchronization Network) packaging hierarchy, each is the term used for the base unit of any product's packaging. In retail, this is the actual consumer unit that is scanned and stocked on store shelves. For instance, if a company sells and ships wall plates, an 'each' refers to one of those wall plates," according to idea4industry.com.
"Eaches are usually grouped together and packaged in a box, jar or bag that may be called the 'inner pack' or 'multipack.' "
Nonetheless, even a year later, shoppers posting on social media still seem to be taken aback when they encounter bananas "by the each," and it hasn't helped that some Target signage has been grammatically incorrect.
Target has responded to some folks via Twitter, promising to fix signs so prices are clearer.
Users on all social platforms have kept the conversation going and continue to go bananas over these prices.
I think about that “bananas by the each” sign and the time @MeAsAPilot saw a man buy one banana at Target A LOT.— Bren (@brenface) February 13, 2018
“bananas by the each” ??? first of all that is a rip-off, second of all, “by the each?” pic.twitter.com/LLfGeldvge— s bee (@monstermolotov) January 14, 2018
However, whether or not this price point is actually cost saving for customers depends on the bunch.
Southeast Michigan locations for Walmart, Meijer and Kroger each currently price their bananas around 39 cents a pound, but note that prices may fluctuate depending on the season or store location.
Three bananas will weigh about 1 pound, according to TheKitchn.com, so a bunch composed of six bananas could cost about 78 cents at Walmart, Meijer or Kroger (actual prices will be determined after weighing the bunch in-store at the time of purchase).
For those of you wondering (which is probs none) Target was selling bananas at 0.23/piece. I usually buy bananas at Kroger which has them at 0.52/lb and I suspected Kroger had the better deal, but i can't tell how heavy a lb is by holding bananas.— Rachel Clark (@Re_Clark) February 2, 2018
At a smaller Target, on the other hand, if priced similarly at 39 cents each, six bananas in a bunch at Target could cost about $2.34.
According to Minnesota's Star Tribune, nearly all Trader Joe's also sell bananas by the quantity as opposed to the pound and this method of pricing does tend to yield a greater cost for customers.
"An employee at Trader Joe's was nice enough to tell me that they often advise customers to buy larger sized bananas to get their money's worth. That's admirable but I've never heard a cashier suggest that to a customer," John Ewoldt wrote for the Star Tribune. "So there's my finding: Buy only the largest bananas at Target or TJs to get your money's worth."
However, this monkey business over bananas hasn't slowed things down for the Target Corp., which, according to its third quarter earnings report from 2017, raked in $16.7 billion in sales from its 1,834 stores and Target.com (a 1.4 percent increase from $16.4 billion in 2016).
Target also expects fourth-quarter comparable sales growth to be about 3.4 percent, according to a news release.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.