Target Bets on $1 Toiletries to Compete With Walmart, Others

Target's new Smartly products cost 70% less than name brands.
  • Target launches second discount brand, Smartly, to increase its share of consumer staples sales.
  • Most of Target’s new brand’s products will cost under $2.
  • Shoppers can score even lower prices on the line using Target’s REDCard.

Target has been in a fierce price war with retail powerhouses Amazon, Walmart and Costco for years. To compete, Target has revamped stores, added CVS pharmacies, overhauled its supply chain, offered same-day delivery, and added celebrity product lines. Now it is launching a new house brand to step up its discount game: Smartly. Find out how the products in Target’s new discount line rank as some of the best deals at Target.

Click to read about 25 secret ways to save money at Target.

Target’s discount pricing strategies seem like they’re paying off. In August, Target (TGT) reported its best quarterly results within the last 10 years thanks to its lower pricing efforts, and Target stock is rated a “buy” by Zacks as of September. Walmart (WMT) also reported strong Q2 results in August.

How to Get the Best Deal: Target Brand Cost Comparison

Within the past two years, Target has launched 20 new brands in various categories, including apparel, home and electronics. Target’s new discount brand Smartly could help it compete even more in the toiletries and related product sectors even while undercutting the prices of its own current generic brand, Up&Up. Here’s how the new Smartly product line compares with Up&Up and Walmart’s Great Value brand.

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Smartly vs. Up&Up

Smartly is priced about 70 percent less than name brands and about 50 percent less than the retailer’s house brand Up&Up. Prices will range from 59 cents to $11.99, with most products priced under $2.

Although Target has catered to shoppers looking for celebrity home goods at a higher price point, too, this latest move opens up the store’s ability to compete with Walmart and expanding discount retailers like Dollar General and Dollar Tree. Smartly’s price points complement Target’s dollar and discount section — usually located at the front of its stores — that include products like school supplies, holiday decorations and small toys.

Target’s Smartly vs. Walmart’s Great Value

Smartly even bests Walmart’s store brand Great Value in categories such as laundry detergent and paper towels, according to price comparisons cited by The Wall Street Journal. For example, 100 ounces of Smartly detergent costs $4.49 versus 100 ounces of Great Value at $6.28.

Smartly Plus REDCard Deals Give Walmart and Amazon More to Worry About

To save even more, Target shoppers can get a 5 percent discount when making in-store or online purchases with the no-annual-fee Target credit card, Target debit card or Target Mastercard. That extra 5 percent discount could potentially push savings to a point where even Walmart and Amazon’s prices fall short for some shoppers, especially those who opt for Target’s new brand Smartly for the bulk of their consumer staples.

See: All the Benefits of the Target REDcard

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 15 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

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