Think you’re getting the lowest prices at Wal-Mart? Think again! Wal-Mart, long known for its low prices, appears to be losing its competitive edge to rival store Target. In a recent study, retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners compared 35 brand-name items sold at Wal-Mart and Target stores in New York, Indiana and North Carolina. The brand-name items chosen were:
- common grocery goods (milk, cereal and rice)
- general merchandise products (clothing and home furnishings)
- health and beauty items
The researchers bought the same shopping list of items at both Wal-Mart and Target and found that shopping at Target cost $269.13 (pre-tax), while Wal-Mart charged $271.07 for the same list of items. Target has not beaten Wal-Mart on prices during the last four years of the study. However, Target has beaten Wal-Mart in prices during both January and February of 2011, indicating this may be the beginning of a new trend.
Another factor to consider is that Target offers a 5% discount to its Target REDcard shoppers while Wal-Mart doesn’t offer any sort of loyalty discount. If you factor in additional discount of using Target’s REDcard, the savings gap widens between the two stores. As stated in the study, “When you add the Redcard‘s 5% discount, the price gap widens to 5.7%.” It’s not difficult to imagine spending $100 or $200 at Target. If you use a Redcard, that would equal a savings of $5.70 or $11.40, respectively. Even if you only go to one of these discount stores once a month, this adds up to significant savings over time.
I’ve included a convenient link to sign up for the Target REDcard: