retail news in context, analysis with attitude

In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Walmart is getting aggressive in the market with ads that engage in a direct shopping cart comparison with Cub Foods, suggesting that it is lower on 39 standard items. Here’s how the story frames the competitive situation:

“It's difficult to believe that Wal-Mart's price comparisons surprise anyone,” the story says. “Overall, Wal-Mart is the low price leader unless a person is shopping store brands. Aldi's prices are even lower than Wal-Mart's, but Aldi is mostly store brands, not name brands. Still, Target shoppers with a Red Card can usually even beat Wal-Mart's prices. Cub's prices are usually found to be slightly lower than Rainbow's, according to Checkbook, except when couponers take advantage of sale items and double coupon days at Rainbow on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“During the recession, more shoppers began to focus on price, but there are many reasons why we choose a supermarket besides price, said Luke Friedrich, spokesman at Cubs Foods.

“Friedrich did not deny Wal-Mart's lower prices, but focused on Cub's other advantages. During the recession, more shoppers began to focus on price, but there are many reasons why we choose a supermarket besides price, said Luke Friedrich, spokesman at Cubs Foods. He adds that Cub has been focused on delivering locally-sourced products, a full-service deli and bakery, customized selection and customer service. That focus also includes community investments such as supporting Second Harvest Heartland.”
KC's View:
Somehow, I have a feeling that Cub did not mean to concede the price advantage to Walmart. In theory, I have to say that I agree with the approach that in addition to price, you have to have other things to brag about ... because price advantages will only get you so far.