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Kantar: Overall branded basket 4% less expensive at Walmart than Target


New York -- With an overall branded basket 4% less expensive than Target’s, Walmart assumes the strongest overall lead in Kantar Retail’s semi-annual pricing study since the study began in 2009.

While strategic price discounts on key items continue to be a cornerstone of Target’s price competitiveness, rather than everyday low prices, Target’s overall basket has not been lower than Walmart’s since the January 2011 iteration of this study.

Kantar Retail revisited the same co-located Walmart and Target stores in Massachusetts in January 2013 to re-assess a previously established basket of national brand items including edible grocery, non-edible grocery, and health & beauty aids (HBA) items. Only identical SKUs from both retailers were assessed. 

“While the two retailers’ baskets are still closely priced, Walmart has managed a consistent lead since early 2011,” comments Leon Nicholas, SVP with Kantar Retail and contributor to the study. “Its positioning is underpinned by management’s revived focus on EDLP.”

In contrast, Nicholas said, Target offers its best prices for guests willing to commit to value in the longer term by stocking-up, realizing gift card values on a return trip, and signing up for its REDcard (Target’s loyalty program).

“This price separation is a key strategic piece of Walmart’s efforts to shore up shopper traffic and drive its ‘save money’ brand proposition,” Nicholas noted.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • Walmart’s edible grocery basket was 14.1% less expensive than Target’s, the strongest recorded price gap in the history of this study. While Walmart’s HBA basket retained its 4% price gap, Walmart’s edible grocery basket substantially reversed its position since the June 2012 assessment.

  • On an individual item basis, Walmart’s basket widened the spread. Nearly one-third of the items were more than 10% less expensive at Walmart, the largest proportion of Walmart’s basket items to assert a 10% spread over Target’s since this study began.

  • Walmart achieved its basket position without rollbacks. Walmart’s basket recorded no price promotions in this iteration while Target posted a total of seven temporary price cuts (TPCs). Strategic price discounts on key items continue to be a cornerstone of Target’s price competitiveness, rather than every day low prices.

  • Target’s overall private label basket was 12.2% more expensive than Walmart’s. Walmart continues to hold a competitive private label basket, as it was the same price or cheaper than Target’s across all of the study’s iterations since 2009.

  • With 5% Rewards, Target’s basket would have been 1.1% less expensive than Walmart’s. Though Walmart’s total basket was less expensive than Target’s. Target continues to offer a very competitive basket price to its REDcard holders.

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