Target turkey dinner costs less than Wal-Mart

story by Leslie Patton
Bloomberg News

A Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner costs less at Target Corp. than at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis.

A basket of 18 Thanksgiving meal items, including turkey, cranberries, onions, corn, pumpkin and heavy cream, is $45.48 at Target stores, compared with $52.31 at Wal-Mart, according to a study led by Jennifer Bartashus, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Skillman, N.J.

The same meal costs $70.18 at Whole Foods Market Inc. and $70.82 at Acme, owned by Supervalu Inc.

“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,” Bartashus said in an interview. While Target is “clearly trying to bolster sales with promotions,” Wal-Mart promotes everyday low prices and doesn’t do much discounting, she said.

As holiday shopping heats up, so has competition among retailers to lure customers with the lowest price tags. Target, based in Minneapolis, has said it will match prices in stores with items online at large rivals, including Wal-Mart and Amazon.com Inc.

Target’s loyalty card also offers 5% off purchases.

Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas, has worked to appeal to value-conscious shoppers with online coupons and its less-expensive 365 Everyday Value private-label brand. Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Supervalu, which also owns the Jewel-Osco and Save-A-Lot chains, has been trying to lower prices across its stores.

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Bloomberg Industries conducted a study of 15 retailers on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. Prices were adjusted to account for different size packages.

The cheapest Thanksgiving meal could be purchased at Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, where it cost $36.39, according to the study. The most expensive was at Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market Inc., where it cost $81.20.

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