Wal-Mart Deepens Toy Price Cuts Ahead of Black Friday

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) widened its pricing gap for toys over Target Corp. (TGT) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) as Black Friday approaches, according to analysis by Bloomberg Industries.

Online prices for a group of more than 100 toys, including such items as Hasbro Inc. (HAS)’s Let’s Rock! Elmo, were 4.7 percent higher at Target and 4.6 percent more expensive at Amazon, according to a survey taken Nov. 16. Wal-Mart was also cheaper than Toys “R” Us Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD)’s Kmart.

Target’s prices were 0.5 percent cheaper than Wal-Mart’s two weeks ago and on Nov. 9 Amazon trailed the world’s largest retailer by less than 1 percent.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the year, and has often been considered the unofficial start to the holiday-shopping season. U.S. retail sales growth may slow to 2.8 percent this holiday season after a 5.2 percent jump last year, the Washington-based National Retail Federation said.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, was up 0.3 percent to $56.92 at 10:07 a.m. in New York. Minneapolis-based Target slipped 0.6 percent to $52.35, while Seattle-based Amazon dropped 0.4 percent to $203.80 and Hoffman Estates, Illinois- based Sears fell 1.4 percent to $64.27.

Amazon outpaced competitors by having all 116 toys in the survey in stock. Target was missing the most items with 24 percent unavailable, followed by Wal-Mart and Kmart at 19 percent and Toys “R” Us with 17 percent.

The study used a list of randomly chosen top holiday toys and compared prices that the retailers carried at their online stores.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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