Amazon, Target winning Black Friday value wars, report says

Shopping season
Shoppers flock to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on a previous Black Friday.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, but according to one research group, consumers have crowned the retailer they think provides the best value:

The online retailer has many of its brick-and-mortar competitors hustling to compete. Rivals such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target have unleashed holiday initiatives such as price-matching guarantees, same-day delivery and shopping aisles synced with smartphones through QR codes.

Target trailed Amazon in second place in the BrandIndex report from consumer research firm YouGov.

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Consumers were asked whether retailers offered good value for their prices and then were told to give scores from 100 to 100. A zero score represents equal measures of positive and negative feedback.

Amazon landed a 55.9 tally, while Target had 45.7.

Department store chain JCPenney – struggling to transform itself while suffering a string of disappointing earnings – slipped from third place to fifth behind Wal-Mart and Kohl’s, respectively.

Best Buy – itself trying to emerge from a year of executive scandal, store format reinvention and eroding financials – also lost ground with consumers. The electronics retailer fell from fifth place to eighth behind Old Navy and Ebay, respectively.


Sears, a company fighting to perk up its fuddy-duddy reputation, rounded out the Top 10 list with discounter Marshall’s.

Major gainers in value perception included Banana Republic, which has launched a line of clothing inspired by the “Anna Karenina” film, along with several more upscale brands such as Saks, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew.

Retailers have much to lose if they miss out on the hordes of shoppers set to show up between Black Friday and Christmas. National retail sales are projected to grow 3.3% in November and December from the same period last year, according to ShopperTrak. Foot traffic to stores will jump 2.8%.

Last year, Black Friday sales broke records, soaring 6.6% from the year before to $11.4 billion in purchases, according to the retail data provider.


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