Walmart extends lead over Target in Kantar Retail’s price survey

Boston -- Walmart continues to extend its lead and again achieves its price leadership position over Target, in Kantar Retail’s semi-annual pricing study. Target’s overall grocery and consumables basket has been more expensive than Walmart’s since the study was performed in January 2011.

With an overall branded basket 3.8% less expensive than Target’s, Walmart extended its lead over its rival from June 2013 when Walmart’s overall basket was only 2% cheaper than Target’s.

“Walmart depended almost entirely on its central EDLP value proposition to achieve price leadership,” said Laura Kennedy, principal analyst and contributor to the study. “While Walmart opened up a bigger lead versus Target in this particular study, the overall gap has remained steady in recent years. And, despite Target’s renewed efforts to emphasize the “Pay Less” aspect of its brand proposition, the steadily increasing price-gap trend diminishes its ability to project an image of “unbeatable value” for its guests.”

Kantar Retail revisited the same co-located Walmart and Target stores in Northeastern United States in January 2014 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.

Highlights of this study include:

  • Walmart’s overall branded basket was 3.8% less expensive than Target’s.
  • Walmart’s prices were less expensive in all three sub-baskets including edible grocery, non-edible grocery and HBA. Target reversed the gains it made in edible grocery in June 2013.
  • Target decreased its use of TPCs from 10 to just eight across all three branded baskets while Walmart posted only two price reductions in this iteration.
  • On an individual item basis, Target’s basket had more products than in previous studies that were at least 30% more expensive than they were at Walmart.
  • REDcard holders benefited from the 5% discount, with Target’s branded basket being 1.4% less expensive for cardholders.

The 11th iteration of Kantar Retail’s 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.  This study examines how these retailers’ stances are evolving as Target renews its efforts to emphasize the “Pay Less” side of its brand proposition and Walmart continues to reinforce its value proposition beyond shelf prices.

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