Over the past several years, market basket studies have been published showing Walmart or its dollar store competitors — alternately — with the lowest comparative prices. For companies with consumers so focused on stretching their dollars, the perception of having the lowest price is critically important. The latest study, this time comparing prices at Dollar General, Family Dollar and Walmart, concludes the dollar store chains have lower prices than their big box competitor.
Stern Agee recently compared 42 identical food, beverage, household and other consumable items at locations for each chain in northern New Jersey.
Last May when the firm did a similar study, "Walmart was the clear pricing leader," wrote Charles Grom, a retail analyst at Stern Agee, in a research note. "In the four subsequent price checks since that time, [Wal-Mart] has continued to lose ground."
According to a Business Insider report, the price on Family Dollar's basket has dropped $9.37 since May. Dollar General has lowered its prices by $4 while Walmart has gone up $2.36 during the same period.
In the past three months, Family Dollar has cut prices 3.4 percent to $145.59, Dollar General 2.2 percent to $149.15, and Walmart 0.7 percent to $149.51.
For which is the perception as low price leader most important to success?