Kantar: Walmart narrowly maintains basket price edge over Target

Boston -- Walmart continues to maintain its basket price advantage over Target, according to Kantar Retail’s semi-annual pricing study. But while Walmart maintained its lower-priced basket – with a leap even further ahead in non-edible grocery – the retailer’s basket was still only 1% less expensive than Target’s, the smallest price gap since the June 2012 study.  
“Walmart’s slightly weakened stronghold on price leadership shows the difficulty in creating basket separation based on price,” said Laura Kennedy, principal analyst and primary contributor to the study. "These results emphasize the need for both retailers to pursue alternative methods to drive impression and value perception by their shoppers. The smaller price gap seems to reflect Walmart’s general shift toward a more nuanced and customized approach to EDLP (everyday low pricing). "

The 12th iteration of the semi-annual mass channel pricing study determines which retailer’s basket of grocery and consumable items offers shoppers the lowest price. The study reviews national brands and a sub-set of private label items.

Kantar Retail revisited the same co-located Walmart and Target stores in the Northeastern United States in June 2014 to re-assess a previously established basket of national brand items including edible grocery, non-edible grocery, and health-and-beauty aid (HBA) items. Only identical SKUs from both retailers were assessed.

Highlights of the study include:

• Walmart’s overall branded basket was just 1.2% less expensive than Target’s. Target narrowed the gap from the January 2014 study.

• Walmart maintained its lead in both grocery sub-baskets, widening the gap in the non-edible basket. Target’s edible basket was 10.5% more expensive than Walmart’s, even with two temporary price cuts and an equal number of “rollbacks” at Walmart.

• Target’s use of temporary price cuts declined again.

• Walmart’s basket featured twice as many rollbacks as in the last iteration.

• Gaps between prices for individual items at the two retailers narrowed.

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