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Study: Walmart cheaper than Amazon, except for food

Doreen Christensen
Sun Sentinel

Walmart has Amazon beat on most prices for common goods, except when it comes to food says a new study.

The study by LendEDU compared prices of 50 products in five categories — from paper towels to toaster ovens to TVs and toothpaste — and Walmart was the overall winner, coming in on average up to 34 percent cheaper than Amazon. The two retailers are battling for supremacy in stores and online.

LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loan refinancing, found that Amazon’s food prices were 23 percent less than Walmart. Not surprising, since Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market in August 2017 and immediately lowered prices on common organics and other staples.

How do Whole Foods’ new prices compare to Walmart, Publix and Aldi? The answer is surprising.

In the home goods category, Amazon priced a 12-pack of Bounty Super Rolls paper towels at $35. Walmart’s price was $22; in the small appliances category, a Black & Decker toaster oven was $54 with Walmart’s price being $43, a 20 percent savings. Amazon priced miscellaneous items such as razors and tape between 16 and 28 percent more. Margins were slimmer in the technology and entertainment category. Amazon was just 4 percent more overall, with Amazon being cheaper for cameras and fitness wearables. Walmart had Amazon beat on HDTVs and headphone prices.

When it came to grocery prices, however, Amazon trounced Walmart. Prices on coffee, pasta sauce, bottled water, soda and cereal were an average of 22.51 percent less, the survey found. Plus, Amazon offers more convenience with free delivery through Amazon Fresh, the survey noted.

Amazon charges $99 a year for a membership and offers free 2-day shipping. Walmart charges no membership fee and ships most goods for free with a $35 purchase.

LendEDU recently compared Amazon prices to Costco Wholesale and found that Amazon goods were 56 percent more than the warehouse club.