Analyst: Target and Best Buy Prices Beat Wal-Mart
By George Anderson
Wal-Mart may have gotten an earlier start on advertising what’s in store for the holidays but its competitors will be ready to go when they open for business on Black Friday and, according to at least one analyst, it may be the competition and not Wal-Mart that has the lowest prices on popular toys and consumer electronics.
Bill Dreher, an analyst with Deutsche Bank, told Reuters, “The playing field will be leveled by Black Friday.”
Mr. Dreher said his research indicated that it would be Target and Best Buy, not Wal-Mart, offering the lowest prices on Black Friday. Target’s prices were 3.1 percent lower than Wal-Mart’s on eight key products tracked, he said.
Another analyst, Brian Postol of A.G. Edwards, said his research found Wal-Mart’s prices on tracked consumer electronics were about 0.8 percent below Best Buy’s. The actual dollar difference of about $1.10 per item probably wouldn’t be enough to sway consumers one way or the other, he said.
In separate, perhaps related news, Wal-Mart announced it would match the advertised price of any competitor selling the same product.
John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer, said in a released statement, “During this crucial period, our customers expect Wal-Mart to offer them the best value in the marketplace. This means that they trust us to have not only the lowest prices, but also the best selection of quality items that are relevant to their needs and the easiest, most convenient shopping experience. With the unbeatable prices and exciting surprises we’re offering customers this week, we know that they won’t be disappointed by the value they can find at Wal-Mart.”
Moderator’s Comment: How important will price be to retail performance this holiday season? Is Wal-Mart unintentionally undermining its positioning as
always having the lowest price with its price match guarantee this holiday season? Will consumers begin to question if Wal-Mart is the best place to go to save money?
George Anderson – Moderator
- Wal-Mart Has Holiday Head Start; Peers Catching
Up – Reuters
- Wal-Mart Commits to Delivering the Unbeatable Value – Wal-Mart