Walmart vs Target: Unraveling the Cheapest School Supplies Retailer

walmart vs target unraveling the cheapest school supplies retailer.jpg Business

As the autumn leaves begin to fall, the back-to-school season is upon us. The aroma of freshly sharpened pencils is in the air, yet so is the scent of stress for many parents. They are faced with a daunting list of supplies their children are required to bring to their new classrooms, sparking a scramble for where to buy these items quickly and affordably. Amid this chaos, a key question arises: which online retailer offers cheaper school supplies – Walmart or Target?

The answer holds significant implications as families across the United States plan to spend an average of $251 on school supplies this year, according to a survey by RetailMeNot, a site that lists online shopping discounts. This figure balloons to an average of $1,498 when factoring in other back-to-school items ranging from shoes and socks to calculators. With inflation rising, shoppers are increasingly concerned about the cost of supplies and finding the time to purchase them. To stretch their dollars further, consumers are comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and are more likely to shop at discount stores compared to last year.

Target vs Walmart: The Battle for Back-to-School Supplies

Back-to-school season is upon us, and parents everywhere are faced with the daunting task of purchasing school supplies. The question on the minds of many is, "where can I buy these supplies quickly and cheaply?" This brings us to a face-off between two retail giants, Walmart and Target.

Surveying the Shopping List

The comparison involved shopping at both retailers for all 21 items on an authentic fourth-grade supply list from a New York City public school. This exercise is crucial, considering families plan to spend an average of $251 on school supplies this year, and $1,498 on back-to-school shopping in total, as per a RetailMeNot survey.

The Verdict

Contrary to what one might expect, Target emerged as the winner by a slight margin. The total for all 21 items came to $64.69, compared to Walmart’s $66.04. However, this comparison was based on the cheapest version of each product found on each retailer’s website.

A Closer Look at the Comparison

The comparison was made as fair as possible, looking for the same size and quantity of an item on both sites, and trying to buy the exact quantity requested on the school’s supply list. However, not all comparisons were equal, as the two retailers carry different brands and different versions of products.

For instance, the least expensive 24-pack of crayons at Walmart was its store brand, Pen+Gear, priced at 25 cents. Meanwhile, Target’s cheapest option was a Crayola 24-count box for 50 cents.

Revisiting the Shopping List

Both Walmart and Target offer pre-made versions of school supply lists, which can be added to your cart with one click, saving a lot of time. However, these pre-made lists were more expensive than picking out the items individually.

For example, the total for the Walmart version was $85.68, and the total for the Target version was $117.99. This is due to the inclusion of some pricier-than-necessary items.

Final Thoughts

While the initial comparison suggests Target as the cheaper option, a Walmart spokesperson claimed that a shopper could find all the items on the list at Walmart for just $42.04, versus $49.67 at Target. Therefore, the decision between the two may ultimately rest on personal preference and shopping habits.

However, this exercise highlights the importance of being an informed and mindful shopper, especially during the back-to-school season. Parents should consider these comparisons as a starting point and carefully review the quantities and products to ensure they are not overspending.

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