Wal-Mart’s Low Prices Hit Record High

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) wants to be known for having the lowest prices. But a recent report says those low prices are the highest ever.

Last month, Raymond James (NYSE:RJF) conducted a study of consumer product prices at discount chains, including Wal-Mart, Publix and Target (NYSE:TGT).

The study created a basket of common goods and then reviewed the prices at each retailer to see which had the lowest prices.

For the quarter ending in April, Wal-Mart’s privately branded products produced a basket whose total cost increased 1.7% to $147.95, the highest price for a Wal-Mart basket in the survey’s history, TheCityWire reported.

Despite hitting a new high, Wal-Mart’s basket was still 4.1% cheaper than Target’s and 18.6% cheaper than a comparable basket of Publix products.

TheCityWire conducted its own survey and found that Wal-Mart’s prices were mixed compared to competitors.

Wal-Mart, which says it has 25% of the U.S. supermarket business, has struggled in recent years to retain its price competitiveness. After cutting prices this year to draw more customers to its stores, CEO Mike Duke said that margins would fall as a result.

The company recently introduced a “pay with cash” option for its online operations, allowing customers to place an order online and pay in cash at a local Wal-Mart store. Of course, the order doesn’t ship until payment is received.


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