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MERCHANDISING REPORT: Target, Wal-Mart Go Toe-to-Toe

1 Nov, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf

Watch out, Wal-Mart. Target seems to be “targeting” those low-price DVD shoppers with plenty of first-week savings on new releases and a bounty of low-priced catalog.

A Southern California Target location last week was the low-price winner when it came to new releases. The “cheap-chic” retailer offered substantial savings over Wally World on the week's most high-profile theatrical releases, serving up box office hit The Sum of All Fears, Halloween-timed freakfest Eight Legged Freaks and holiday special edition The Santa Clause at substantially lower prices than a nearby Wal-Mart's advertised savings.

At last week's Wal-Mart location -- where signs in the DVD section tout the store's “Always Low Prices” theme -- on street date, cutouts from the weekly mailer (tagged “advertised price”) were pasted next to the new releases. But Target shoppers got the same DVDs for $4 to $5 less (see chart).

Both stores also prominently featured their caches of under-$10- priced catalog titles, with endcap displays at Target and multiple store merchandisers at Wal-Mart.

Both also got into the “James Bond” groove last week, gearing up for the upcoming Die Another Day. Target signage promoted a two-for-$25 deal on some MGM catalog hits, with Bond titles featured and stocked in abundance.

The nearby Wal-Mart went one step further, with a vibrant Bond-themed studio merchandiser loaded with practically every title from the hit franchise parked next to the register.

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