By Minsi Chung
Amazon.com Inc.’s toy prices were lower than those available online from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. last week as retailers seek to attract shoppers heading into the crucial holiday selling season.
Amazon’s prices, excluding those from its third-party sellers, were 3 percent lower on average than Walmart’s on a basket of 87 toys, according to a study conducted by Bloomberg Industries on Nov. 14.
Including the “Marketplace” vendors, which use Amazon’s platform to sell their own products, the pool of comparable goods expanded to 115, and Walmart was cheaper by 1.2 percent, on average.
The pricing battle may help determine which retailers win consumers’ toy purchases during the holiday season. Sales in November and December account for 20 to 40 percent of U.S. retailers’ annual revenue, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Being competitive on toy prices is crucial to drive market-share gains during the holiday season,” said Poonam Goyal, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Princeton, N.J.
Walmart’s prices were 2.4 percent lower than at Target, 5 percent less than Sears Holdings Corp.’s Kmart and 7.2 percent lower than Toys “R” Us Inc., according to the study.