Toy price parity early season gift for shoppers

It is still very early in the holiday season and anything could happen from a pricing perspective. However, with that as a caveat, it appears Target and Walmart are in a virtual dead heat when it comes to toy pricing, according to a survey by Citigroup’s senior retail analyst Deb Weinswig.

“Our proprietary toy pricing survey found that Walmart has the lowest prices on the hottest toys this year by a slight margin (just 50 basis points). However, if we apply the 5% discount offered to Target’s REDcard holders, the basket of toys at Target is noticeably cheaper, with 4.5% savings versus Walmart,” according to Weinswig.

That is a marked improvement for Target from last year when the toy pricing spread relative to Walmart was 270 basis points, according to a survey Weinswig conducted.

“Target is well positioned to capitalize on holiday sales, as the company has focused on improving its price perception with customers in an effort to win mind share and market share this season,” She said. “Lastly, we were surprised to see Amazon with the most expensive basket of toys especially as toys are likely to be very competitively priced this year in an effort to drive consumer traffic.”

Amazon’s prices were 9.2% higher than Walmart’s. The online survey looked only at Walmart, Target and Amazon and items featured on the Toy Insider’s “Hot 20” list and Toys“R”Us hot holiday list.