Target VS Walmart: Target Launches Price War With Walmart

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Jun 05, 2024

Tens of millions of Americans spend their hard-earned money at two of the country’s largest retailers, Target and Walmart. The two sell almost identical products at similar price points, making them the perfect competitors.

As in any competition, Target and Walmart have long tried to get the other’s customers in their own doors, usually through promotions and sales, but now they are having an all-out price war. Each one trying to go lower than the other.

Walmart Typically Offers Lower Prices Than Target

Walmart first opened its doors in 1962, and over the past 82 years, it has become one of the largest retailers in the country and the world. Throughout its long history, Walmart has changed and modernized with the times, but one thing has remained consistent: Low prices.

The exterior of a Walmart store, showing customers entering and exiting

Source: iStock

Target opened the very same year, though it took a little longer for the company to become a household name. Although Target also kept its price tags affordable, it focused its marketing on style over discounts. Therefore, Walmart was known as the cheapest option, while Target shoppers spent a little extra for a more comfortable shopping experience.

Target Recently Announced It Will Be Slashing Prices in May 2024

But over the years, Target has maintained its solid reputation as a contemporary retailer while slowly but surely offering even more affordable products. Meanwhile, Walmart’s prices increased due to inflation, and by 2023, the two were essentially identical.

A close-up photograph of a red “-15%” sign in a grocery store

Source: iStock

Then, in May 2024, Target announced that it would be slashing its prices for the summer, essentially saying, “Look over here; our prices are now lower than Walmart’s.”

Target Is Helping Consumers Save with 5,000 Discounted Items

The Target press release was entitled, “Target will help consumers save big by lowering prices on 5,000 frequently shopped items.” It then went on to say, “These price reductions will collectively save consumers millions of dollars this summer.”

A woman pushes a red cart while shopping at Target

Source: Reddit

Unlike some other retailers, Target didn’t leave the details out. The company explained, “Consumers will enjoy savings on everyday items such as milk, meat, bread, soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, peanut butter, coffee, diapers, paper towels, pet food, and more.” And even gave specific examples of previous and current prices.

Target Rewards Members Will See Significant Discounts This Summer

Additionally, the statement reported that Target’s Circle Card Rewards Members will gain access to the most extensive discounts throughout the store’s many departments.

A hand holds a Target rewards member Circle Card


Target Circle is free to join, has no annual or monthly fees, and now offers an automatic 5% discount on all in-store and online purchases. Clearly, Target is trying to let the world know that being in the Target club is superior to any other.

Target Wants to Ensure Americans Can Afford the Products They Need

When explaining why the company has decided to substantially lower its prices across the board and offer further discounts to reward members, Target said it really is for the American people.

A faceless man holds open his empty wallet with some coins in his hand

Source: Freepik

Target executive vice president and chief food, essentials, and beauty officer Rick Gomez said, “We know consumers are feeling pressured to make the most of their budget, and Target is here to help them save more.”


Americans Are Struggling to Pay Their Bills

Of course, Gomez isn’t wrong; American consumers are feeling pressured right now. One study reported that 64% of Americans are struggling to pay their bills in 2024.

A woman looks stressed as she goes over her monthly bills

Source: Freepik

Between higher rent costs, mortgage rates, interest rates, car payments, utilities, gas, and almost every other necessary monthly expenditure increase, millions of Americans simply cannot keep up.


Grocery Prices Have Increased by 25% in Four Years

What’s been especially hard for many households is the constantly increasing price of groceries. Even those who try to save money by preparing all of their family’s meals at home are shocked by how much they’re spending at the supermarket every month.

A man holds his head in his hands while resting on his cart shopping for groceries

Source: Depositphotos

According to CBS News, the cost of groceries is going up every month; in fact, as of February 2024, it’s 25% more expensive to buy food than it was four years ago in 2020.


High Inflation Means a High Cost of Living

Although understanding the nuances of the American economy can be complicated, one aspect is quite simple: When inflation increases, so does the cost of living.

A digital illustration of inflation showing a $100 bill and several upward graphics

Source: iStock

However, inflation has actually decreased over the last six months, so why are grocery prices still going up? Some say that while inflation is unquestionably playing a role, corporate greed is an equally influential factor.


High Grocery Prices Are a Result of Corporate Greed

President Biden spoke out in March 2023 against the nation’s largest corporations, blaming them, at least in part, for the outrageous price tags plaguing grocery and retail products

Two faceless businessmen in suits shake hands

Source: Freepik

Biden said, “Too many corporations raise prices to pad their profits, charging more and more for less and less.” He and other economists have called for these giant companies to bring prices down and restore the struggling American economy to its former equilibrium.


Is Target’s Announcement a Sign That Companies Can Lower Their Prices?

While millions of people are certainly thrilled to hear that Target will be significantly lowering its prices this summer, this does beg the question: Is this a sign that corporations can easily decrease their prices?

The cereal and breakfast food aisle at the grocery store

Source: Reddit

If big-name stores like Target and Walmart can lower their prices and keep the pockets of their investors and competitors filled, does that mean they could have done so all along? Maybe Biden is right, and the cost of living crisis was less about inflation than it was about corporate greed.


Will Walmart Meet Target’s New Low Prices?

Now, the question remains if Walmart will follow suit and make an announcement of its own. Walmart has always promoted itself as the retailer with the lowest prices, but if Target is decreasing its price tags on over 5,000 items, Walmart will have to do the same if it wants to keep that title.

A photograph of several Walmart shoppers moving through the aisles

Source: Reddit

Luckily for Americans, a price war between the two giant retailers is great news for their bank accounts. Maybe, finally, the average American will be able to afford not just their groceries but even a few extras this summer.