Walmart and Target had the least expensive baskets, respectively, in SN Price Check surveys conducted the weeks of Dec. 30 and Jan. 13, at a Walmart, Target, Vons and Ralphs in Los Angeles, according to international price and promotions analytics company Brand View, and RetailData, whose representatives collected the pricing information and scored stores on appearance and ease of shopping.

This is the first report in an ongoing series of price and service checks conducted in different U.S. regions on a rotating basis as part of a new SN partnership initiative. 

Walmart, which had the least expensive basket during the first collection period, charged $64.20 for a 20-SKU basket shopped for during the week of Dec. 30, while Target had the lowest price — $65.34 — for the same basket during week two of the mystery shop.

Click the image to access a free pdf of the complete 20-item price comparison and other information.Walmart trumped the others, both weeks, in the category of “most lowest-priced items,” with 12 products the first week and nine the second, but it was a close race with Target, which charged just a couple of pennies more than Walmart for about one-third of the items, noted Matthew Ferguson, SVP of client services for Brand View.

“In seven of the 20 items, Walmart beat Target’s price by just 2 cents or less, a key factor in [Walmart’s] having the largest number of cheapest items,” he said. “But Target’s consistently competitive prices across all products was enough to ensure they had the lowest overall basket value” during week two.

Vons and Ralphs were also winners in the areas of “store appearance” (they tied the category both weeks), which is based on ratings in the areas of cleanliness and whether staff is neatly dressed. Vons took top honors in “ease of shopping,” week one, and Ralphs did so week two. For this category, stores are rated on the helpfulness of staff and how well the store is merchandised.

A free pdf of the 20-SKU basket price comparison

“Both Vons and Ralphs offered shoppers a well-merchandised store, which drove their excellent shopper experience scores,” Ferguson explained.

SN Price Check is conducted for Supermarket News as part of an exclusive partnership with Brand View and RetailData. Published every two weeks in SN’s print edition and fleshed out in more detail at supermarketnews.com, SN Price Check captures data related to the price, service and availability of 20 commonly stocked products at food retail chains in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Houston and Chicago.

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