Recent reports suggest that Target might have a slight edge over Walmart heading into the holiday season largely because its consumer base is more affluent than its larger rival.
That said, the price competition between the two rivals remains intense and each side is using matching and aggressive advertising to establish itself as the place where consumers can go to save.
In reality, it's possible to cherry pick any number of items and make the lowest price case for either Target or Walmart. Thanks to an analysis by Bloomberg Industries, however, Target gets a win when it comes to the lowest price on Thanksgiving dinner.
Bloomberg looked at a market basket of 18 items including turkey and sides at 15 retailers on Nov. 17 and 18 including Acme (Supervalu), Sam's Club, Target, The Fresh Market, Walmart and Whole Foods. Pricing for the same items were $36.39 at Sam's, $45.48 at Target, $52.31 at Walmart, $70.18 at Whole Foods, $70.82 at Acme and $81.20 at The Fresh Market.
Target's pricing was able to undercut Walmart through the use of more aggressive promotions, according to Bloomberg.
"Target has been pretty clear, through their actions, that they want to have a very competitive holiday season so it's not surprising that it translated over to food," Jennifer Bartashus, a Bloomberg Industries analyst, told Bloomberg News.
Target's president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel, according to The Associated Press, recently discussed the chain's prospects for the fourth quarter. "We feel good about our ability to deliver inspiring merchandise, most-wanted gifts, and unbeatable value, while also generating expected profitability."
Walmart's chief financial officer Charles Holley was quoted in the same AP report as saying, "Macroeconomic conditions continue to pressure our customers."
How much more or less is pricing this holiday season compared to past years?