MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

BY Marianne Wilson

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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REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom to open second location in greater Austin market

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Nordstrom announced plans to open a full-line store at The Domain in Austin, Texas. The two-level, approximately 123,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2016 and will be the company’s second full-line store serving the greater Austin area. The Domain is owned and operated by Endeavor Real Estate Group.

"We are thrilled to have Nordstrom joining the existing tenant base at The Domain. Their presence will reinforce The Domain’s position as the premier outdoor shopping destination in the State of Texas," said Ben Bufkin, principal, Endeavor Real Estate Group. "Given the Nordstrom commitment to first class customer service and quality merchandise, they are the perfect anchor for the next phase of The Domain."

Nordstrom will anchor the third phase of The Domain’s expansion. When completed, the 304-acre development is expected to include 1.8 million sq.-ft. of retail space, 5,000 residential units, 3.5 million sq.-ft. of office space and 800 hotel rooms. Nordstrom currently operates three stores in the Austin area including a full-line store at Barton Creek Square and a Nordstrom Rack at Gateway Center and at Sunset Valley.

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FINANCE

NRF urges ‘holistic’ approach to data security

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation has submitted an official statement for a hearing on data security being held by the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, reiterating the retail industry’s commitment to protecting Americans’ financial information.

In the statement, NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan, who previously testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, urged Congress to examine the latest data breaches at card companies, government institutions, retailers and universities in a “holistic fashion.”

“It’s important to look at why such breaches occur and what the perpetrators get out of them so that we can find ways to reduce and prevent not only the breaches themselves, but the fraudulent activity that is often the goal of these events,” Duncan said. “If breaches become less profitable to criminals then they will dedicate fewer resources to committing them and our goals will become more achievable.”

NRF’s recommendations focused on the need for a more secure, transparent and competitive payments system that incorporates the latest technology. Duncan said new chip-based cards that banks plan to issue next year need to require the use of a PIN, not just a signature, in order to provide maximum consumer security and protection.

“We need PIN-authentication of cardholders regardless of the chip technology used on newly issued cards,” Duncan wrote. “We also need chip cards that use open standards and allow for competition among payment networks as we move into a world of growing mobile commerce. Finally, we need companies throughout the payment system to work together on achieving end-to-end encryption so that there are no weak links in the system where sensitive card payment information may be acquired more easily than in other parts of the system.”

Along with providing the committee with actionable recommendations to better protect consumer information, NRF expressed its support for a wide range of legislative proposals that include enhancing consumer protections when using a debit card, greater information sharing across industries to address emerging cyber threats, increased resources for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercriminals, and a federal breach notification law modeled after state law.

“The payment system is complicated,” Duncan said. “Every party has a role to play; we need to play it together. No system is invulnerable to the most sophisticated and dedicated of thieves. Consequently, eliminating all fraud is likely to remain an aspiration. Nevertheless, we will do our part to help achieve that goal.”

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