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Target cheaper than Walmart in August in study of 150 items

Walmart says that Target edged ahead of it in the price competition only because of temporary promotions.

jim young/reuters/file 2012

Walmart says that Target edged ahead of it in the price competition only because of temporary promotions.

Target is living up to the second half of its ‘‘Expect more. Pay less’’ slogan by winning the latest round in its pricing battle with Walmart Stores. Target this month had lower prices for the first time since October, according to research by Bloomberg Industries. The chain also led by its widest margin since the monthly study began two years ago. The study examined the gap in average price across a basket of 150 like items at stores within five miles of each other.

The second-largest US discounter won this month by cutting into Walmart’s lead in food prices. Walmart’s advantage in groceries fell to 1.35 percentage points from 4.5 points in July.

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Walmart is still the price leader, and if a rival shows lower prices, it is because of a temporary sale or promotion, said Deisha Galberth Barnett, a spokeswoman.

‘‘Walmart is delivering everyday low prices — not pricing gimmicks — every day, 365 days per year, not just during a single week or during a particular season. Our customers don’t have to wait for a sale or look for an ad.’’

Walmart has focused on cutting prices and adding items to bring consumers back to its US stores.

The study showed that for every $100, Target was 46 cents less expensive..

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