Target has proven to be cheaper than Wal-Mart for the first time since last October, leading its top competitor by its widest savings margin since a monthly price study began two years ago.
The monthly Bloomberg study examines the difference of the average price across a basket of 150 similar items at stores within five miles of each other.
August prices at Target were 0.46 percentage points less than Wal-Mart, meaning Target was 46 cents cheaper for every $100 spent. Wal- Mart led by 2.01 percentage points in July.
Wal-Mart's lead in grocery prices fell to 1.35 percentage points, compared to a 4.5-point lead in July. Bloomberg analyst Jennifer Bartashus says Target's improvement in grocery prices may be linked to back-to-school shopping promotions.
Wal-Mart brushed off Target's current low-price lead, telling Bloomberg it's probably due to a temporary sale or promotion. A company spokesperson also pointed to Wal-Mart's Ad Match Guarantee, allowing customers to get the same products for low prices advertised at other stores.