Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Beats Target, Amazon With Lower Online Toy Prices

November 15, 2011

(Updates shares in fifth paragraph.)

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has lower online prices on a selection of toys this month than Target Corp.’s website and Amazon.com Inc., according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis.

Prices for a group of about 80 toys including Hasbro Inc.’s Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven and Leapfrog Enterprises Inc.’s Leap Pad Explorer are 1.8 percent higher at Target and 0.7 percent more expensive at Amazon, according to a report led by Poonam Goyal, a Bloomberg Industries analyst. Wal-Mart’s toys also were cheaper than those on the websites for Toys “R” Us Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp.’s Kmart, according to the Nov. 9 survey.

“Wal-Mart came out early and put a stamp on having lower prices” and they are backing up that promise, Goyal said in a telephone interview from Skillman, New Jersey. “Shoppers will notice the cheaper prices.”

U.S. retail sales growth may slow to 2.8 percent this holiday season amid decelerating job growth, a weak housing market and a volatile stock market, the National Retail Federation said last month. The increase to an estimated $465.6 billion in sales in November and December compares with a 5.2 percent jump last year, the Washington-based NRF said.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, fell 0.5 percent to $58.89 at the close in New York. Minneapolis-based Target slid 0.2 percent to $52.65, while Seattle-based Amazon rose 0.7 percent to $218.93 and Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears dropped 2.8 percent to $72.25.

In a survey Bloomberg Industries conducted Nov. 2, Wal- Mart’s stores also had lower average toy prices than Kmart, Amazon and Toys “R” Us. Target had cheaper prices than Wal- Mart in that study by 0.5 percent. The studies use a list of randomly chosen top holiday toys and compared prices that the retailers carried at their online stores.

--Editors: Kevin Orland, Robin Ajello

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net; Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net


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