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6 Retailers Cutting Prices to Lure Inflation-Weary Shoppers

With prices still high in many categories, consumers have less money to spend

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After more than two years of squeezing consumers amid higher raw materials, labor and transportation costs, some retailers are cutting prices to get shoppers back in the stores. Consumers have been reining in their discretionary spending because food, shelter and fuel prices have remained high.

For April, the consumer price index (CPI) — which tracks a basket of goods — rose 3.4 percent, with shelter and gasoline driving it higher. It’s the third month in a row that inflation has increased since coming down from 40-year highs following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Consumers are facing affordability challenges with increasing CPI that has essentially robbed them of 20 percent of their buying power,” says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s Washington bureau chief. “People are cutting back on discretionary purchases trying to save money with respect to necessities, or at least optimize their spending.”

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Adults are looking for both online and in-store bargains, and they are willing to purchase cheaper brands to save a few bucks. That’s what Adobe Analytics, which tracks e-commerce sales, found. Since the start of 2024, Adobe said the share of the cheapest goods purchased increased significantly across all categories, including the following:

  • Personal care: Up 96 percent
  • Electronics: Up 64 percent
  • Apparel: Up 47 percent
  • Home/garden: Up 42 percent
  • Furniture/bedding: Up 42 percent
  • Grocery: Up 33 percent
  • Sporting goods: Up 28 percent
  • Appliances: Up 26 percent
  • Tools/home improvement: Up 26 percent
  • Toys: Up 25 percent

At the same time, Vivek Pandya, manager of Adobe Digital Insights, says some merchants have excess inventory they built up over the past couple of years and are now lowering prices to move the merchandise.

These moves are far from altruistic, but in any case, consumers are getting a break at these six stores.

1. Aldi

Number of stores: 2,381

Locations: Thirty-nine states including California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Pricing action: The grocer is passing $100 million in savings to customers through Labor Day by slashing the prices on over 250 items, including picnic supplies, barbecue essentials, travel-ready snacks and healthier foods. Last year Aldi said it saved customers $60 million in price cuts during the campaign. The company pointed to persistent inflation as why it expanded its price reductions this year.

2. Giant Food

Number of stores: 167 

Locations: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia

Pricing action: Hundreds of its private-label food brands, which include Giant, Nature’s Promise, Taste of Inspirations, Smart Living, Always My Baby, Companion and CareOne, will get price cuts. Giant is also boosting its Flexible Rewards program, giving loyalty cardholders two times the points for every dollar spent on its private-label brands. The moves are designed to get shoppers to try its products over household brands. 

3. Ikea

Number of stores: 73 in North America

Locations: Throughout the U.S., including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

Price actions: The Swedish home accessories and furniture retailer has been slashing prices in several countries for some time. In January, it announced it would do more of that in 2024, citing decreasing costs for transportation and raw materials. The price cuts vary by country, but Ikea said it is reducing the prices on thousands of products. The aim is to restore prices to inflation-adjusted pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2025.

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4. Michaels

Number of stores: Over 1,300

Locations: Forty-nine states, including Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Price actions: The arts and crafts retailer is lowering prices on more than 5,000 items across several categories, including home decor, art supplies, seasonal items, T-shirts, wall frames and many others. Prices on paint, markers and pens have been reduced up to 15 percent, while T-shirts will cost up to 40 percent less.

5. Walmart

Number of stores: 4,615

Locations: Every U.S. state

Price actions: Since last year, Walmart has expanded its ongoing program of price rollbacks to include up to 50 percent more products year over year in the fourth quarter. The retailer said price cuts are across-the-board, including its grocery department.

6. Target

Number of stores: 1,956

Locations: Every U.S. state

Price actions: Target just cut the prices on 1,500 everyday items from milk to paper towels, with more to come. The retailer plans to slash the prices on about 5,000 items, which it says will save consumers millions of dollars this summer.

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