business news in context, analysis with attitude

CNN reports that “two recent price comparisons of grocery and household goods revealed that Target's prices are lower than at No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart.”

According to the story, Customer Growth Partners “compared 35 brand-name items sold at Wal-Mart and Target stores in New York, Indiana and North Carolina. They consisted of 22 common grocery goods such as milk, cereal and rice; 10 general merchandise products such as clothing and home furnishings; and three health and beauty items.

“Target's shopping cart rang in at $269.13 (pre-tax), a hair lower than the $271.07 charged at Wal-Mart.” The story says that people using Target’s Redcard program would have seen even greater savings.

At the same time, a Kantar survey of “just one Wal-Mart and one Target store in Massachusetts... found Target's prices in January were about 2.8% lower than Wal-Mart's.

“Among the goods that Kantar compared, cheaper health and beauty items, and particularly smoking cessation gum, helped Target beat Wal-Mart. But in groceries and household goods such as light bulbs, trash bags and detergent, Kantar found Wal-Mart still boasted better prices than its rival.”
KC's View:
A horse race makes everybody better, and is certainly good for consumers.

Target knows that it needs to be relentless if it is going to keep up with and even ahead of Walmart; at the same time, Walmart is hardly going to sit around and allow itself to be painted as high-priced.