MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

New competitor giving Walmart a run for the money on price

BY Marianne Wilson

Despite only launching in the United States this year, German discount grocer Lidl is already taking Walmart on in price.

In a price comparison test conducted by Kantar Retail, Lidl posted lower prices than Walmart on eight of 25 (32%) items. The analysis compared pricing between Lidl and Walmart on 25 branded SKUS and 15 private label SKUs across edible, non-edible and health and beauty categories. Overall, the difference between baskets was a mere 37 cents.

The price gap between Lidl and Walmart widened substantially when Kantar Retail compared only the private label items. Lidl’s private label basket was priced 23% less than Walmart’s, with no comparable private labels cheaper at Walmart.

Although Walmart achieved price parity on most items in the branded basket, the retailers had equivalent pricing on only two private label SKUs (bananas and whole milk). Lidl posted a double-digit percentage price advantage over Walmart on 73% of items in the basket (11 of 15 items), with prices ranging from 10% to 57% cheaper than Walmart.

Additional findings from the Kantar Retail’s Breakthrough Insights study can be found here.

 

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Target gets a viral boost as superstar pops in

BY Marianne Wilson

The Twitter universe was set abuzz when the nation’s reigning music “queen” stopped in to do some shopping.

Beyoncé, accompanied by her daughter Blue Ivy and her mother Tina Knowles, was spotted pushing a carriage as she shopped Target’s store in San Clemete, Calif. Queen B’s visit didn’t cause a frenzy inside the store and she was left alone to shop in relative peace. But she was caught on camera by fellow shoppers, and the video quickly went viral.

Twitter lit up with reactions that ran the gamut from from shock and awe to the satirical and humorous.

“They would’ve found my body laid out on aisle 7,” one fan tweeted after seeing the video.

Another person tweeted: “My two favorite things: Target and Beyoncé.”

And another: “Beyoncé Shops at Target; In Other News, I Now Live at Target.”

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NPD Group: Shoppers opting for experiential gifts this year

BY Marianne Wilson

It’s all about the experience.

Many holiday shoppers plan to purchase “intangible” gifts this year. According to NPD’s 2017 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, purchase intent is down across many general merchandise categories, but consumers place a high value on experiences. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. consumers plan to purchase experiential gifts this holiday season, like wine tastings, concert tickets, and spa treatments. Of those consumers, the majority (48%) plan to purchase some sort of food/beverage experience.

“Giving an intangible gift, an experience, can be more personal and more memorable for the gift-recipient, and in many ways easier for the gift-giver, making them an ideal holiday gift solution for many consumers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analysts, The NPD Group.

In addition to experiential gifts, subscription services are also on the radars of some consumers this year – 7% of shoppers plan to purchase a subscription box or service as a gift this holiday season. Similar to the top experiences, food subscriptions top the list among consumers with an eye on these types of gifts, followed by beverages, electronics, health/fitness, fashion, and beauty/grooming subscriptions.

The purchase intent for experiential gifts and subscription services this holiday season is strongest among Gen Z and Millennial holiday shoppers, as well as households with children, and annual incomes over $75,000. Similarly, gift cards, more common ‘intangible’ holiday gifts, are popular among higher income households and those with children, but Gen Z is the least likely to purchase them.

Despite Gen Z’s lack of interest, anticipated gift card purchasing shows a small uptick for holiday 2017, with 45% of consumers planning to purchase them.

“Gen Z and Millennials think to give experiential gifts because that is what they seek – people like to give what they want themselves,” added Cohen.  “Whether shoppers are looking for more unique gifts in general, or reacting to current retail offerings, the popularity of intangible gifts poses a very real threat to traditional retail.”

 

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