Is Target Stealthily Emulating Walmart’s Pricing Tactics?

Best practices in price monitoring 21.7.2023. Reading Time: 6 minutes

Walmart and Target – two major players in the retail industry, each with a substantial market share and a large customer base. Here, we will try to unriddle does Target match Walmart’s prices and its pricing tactics.

Retail market competitiveness plays a significant role in shaping the pricing strategies of these two companies. These retail giants must meet customer expectations over and over again, maintain their market share, and strategically respond to their competitors’ pricing moves. It seems that the same thing applies to every participant in the retail market, even the greatest leaders. By constantly monitoring the market and adjusting their prices accordingly, they strive to stay competitive and appeal to their target customers.

does target match walmart prices

Competitive Market

In a highly competitive market, customers have a wide range of choices and are often price-sensitive. They expect retailers to offer competitive prices to attract them to their business. Both Walmart and Target strive to meet these expectations by constantly monitoring and responding to market dynamics. To retain and expand their customer base, they employ retail pricing strategies that appeal to different segments of the market. This can involve adjusting prices to match or undercut competition. 

Walmart, in particular, has built its brand around offering low prices. Target, on the other hand, positions itself as a retailer with a balance of affordability and quality. As price leaders, they set benchmarks for other businesses within the market and influence pricing trends.

In a bid to remain competitive, they closely monitor their rivals’ pricing strategies and compare their prices with those of their competitors to make adjustments accordingly. This benchmarking helps them ensure they are not at a significant disadvantage in terms of pricing.

Retailers engage in various promotional activities such as sales, discounts, and special offers to attract customers. The competitive landscape often influences these activities. When one retailer introduces a promotional campaign, its competitors may respond with their own offers to retain their market share. This back-and-forth competition can impact pricing decisions. 

Both Walmart and Target have implemented price matching policies to ensure competitiveness and discourage customers from seeking better deals elsewhere.

While price is a crucial factor, retailers like Walmart and Target also differentiate themselves through their product assortment and overall shopping experience. They may offer exclusive products, superior customer service, or a unique store atmosphere. 

Price Match Policies

As mentioned, both Target and Walmart have implemented price matching policies to provide customers with competitive pricing and ensure customer satisfaction. 

Walmart Price Match Policy

Walmart introduced its first price matching policy the Ad Match Guarantee, in 2011. Afterward, it was modified and renamed to Savings Catcher. Under this policy, when found a lower price on an identical competitor’s product, Walmart would match that price at the point of purchase. However, Walmart’s latest update from June 7th, 2023 that they don’t match competitors’ prices anymore. At the moment Walmart only matches prices, but restrictions may apply.

Target Price Match Policy

Target implemented its price matching policy, called the Price Match Guarantee, in 2013. The policy allows customers to request a price adjustment if they find a lower price on an identical item at a local competitor’s store or on Target’s website. To receive the price match, customers must present proof of the lower price, such as a printed advertisement or show it on a mobile device.

Regarding who implemented the policy first, Walmart introduced its price matching policy in 2011, while Target followed suit in 2013. Therefore, Walmart was the first to establish a formal price matching policy between the two retailers, even though Walmart stopped matching competitors’ prices. Let’s take a break here and simply answer the question Does Target match Walmart prices? Yes, the Price Match Guarantee policy allows Target’s shoppers to request price match only.

Price matching policies are designed to enhance the retailers’ competitiveness by assuring customers can receive the best prices. This policy helps Target attract and retain customers who might otherwise choose to shop at Walmart just because it is offering lower prices. These policies aim to improve customer satisfaction by providing a convenient way for customers to obtain the lowest available price. By honoring price matches, Target seeks to build trust and loyalty among the customer base and offers convenience by allowing them to compare prices and receive a matching price at the point of purchase. This eliminates the need for customers to visit multiple stores to secure the best deal. Therefore customers’ convenience and simplicity come as one of the biggest motivations for price match policy implementation.

Walmart Pricing Strategy

walmart pricing strategy

Walmart’s core pricing philosophy revolves around offering everyday low prices (EDLP) strategy to its customers. The aim is to provide customers with consistently low prices across a wide range of products. This approach differs from the high-low pricing strategy adopted by some retailers, where prices fluctuate through frequent sales and promotions. 

Their pricing strategy is rooted in their commitment to cost leadership. The company focuses on achieving operational efficiency and cost savings throughout its supply chain, distribution, and store operations. This way Walmart can pass on the savings to customers in the form of lower prices. Through bulk purchasing and strong supplier relationships, the company secures competitive pricing on merchandise. The company works closely with suppliers to improve operational efficiencies, reduce production costs, and streamline logistics. By partnering with vendors, Walmart aims to achieve mutually beneficial cost savings, which can then be reflected in its pricing. 

Walmart also employs a strategy of offering private label brands or store brands. These brands are owned and sold exclusively by Walmart. By offering private-label products, Walmart can control pricing and offer competitive alternatives to national brands. These products often come with lower production costs.

Another of Walmart’s pricing strategy approaches is making strategic price investments to maintain its price leadership position. The company may lower prices on certain items or product categories to attract customers and gain market share. This aggressive pricing approach is aimed at not only driving sales but also deterring customers from choosing competitors due to higher prices.

Walmart strives to maintain consistency between its online and in-store pricing. The company aims to offer the same low prices both in physical stores and in its eCommerce shops. This approach supports its omnichannel strategy and provides customers with a seamless shopping experience.

Target Pricing Strategy

target pricing strategy

Target aims to offer customers a balance between value and affordability. While not positioning itself as a discount retailer like Walmart, Target still emphasizes competitive pricing to attract customers. The company seeks to provide reasonable prices while offering a curated selection of quality products.

The company carefully selects merchandise to align with its brand image and target customer preferences. Target’s strategy involves partnering with well-known brands and introducing exclusive collaborations, which can contribute to slightly higher price points than Walmart’s.

Customers emphasize Target’s brand perception of stylish, trendy, and high-quality products at accessible prices. The company leverages its reputation for design and innovation to attract customers willing to pay a slight premium for a more curated and differentiated shopping experience.

Unlike Walmart, Target employs promotional strategies to engage customers and drive sales. These include weekly sales, seasonal promotions, clearance events, and targeted discounts. Target aims to create a sense of urgency and entice customers to purchase while still maintaining a profitable pricing structure.

They place a strong emphasis on customer loyalty and engagement through programs like Target Circle. The loyalty program provides personalized offers, rewards, and discounts to members. By rewards, Target aims to foster repeat business and maintain a competitive edge. In addition, Target promotes its REDcard program, which provides cardholders with additional benefits such as an extra discount on purchases and free shipping for online orders.

Target offers a price matching policy, discussed in the Target Price Match Policy paragraph. This policy helps Target assure customers that they can shop with confidence, knowing they will receive competitive pricing.

Also, Target strives to maintain consistency in pricing across its physical stores and online platforms. Customers can expect to find the same prices whether shopping in-store or online.

The Battle of Retail Giants – Does Target Match Walmart Prices?

While Target has a price matching policy, it primarily focuses on matching prices from local competitors and select online retailers. Under Target’s Price Match Guarantee, customers can request a price adjustment if they find a lower price on an identical item at a local competitor’s store or on However, it’s important to note that Target’s price matching policy has specific terms and conditions, and it may vary by location or product category. Therefore, it’s recommended to check Target’s official website or inquire at a local store for the most up-to-date information on their price matching policy.

Should you match Walmart prices?

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Price2Spy can take care of all the activities preceding pricing and all afterward adjustments daily if needed. It will automate the competitor price monitoring process, and help you gather and store the pricing data enabling you to make well-informed pricing decisions, and this way outsmart your competition. 

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Marijana Bjelobrk
Marijana Bjelobrk is a Marketing Manager who has been writing for Price2Spy since November 2021. She graduated BBA at Oklahoma City University in May 2020, majoring in marketing.