A Target turkey dinner costs less than Wal-Mart

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner costs less at Target Corp. than at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis.

A basket of 18 Thanksgiving meal items, including turkey, cranberries, onions, corn, pumpkin and heavy cream, is $45.48 at Target stores, compared with $52.31 at Wal-Mart, according to a study led by Jennifer Bartashus, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Skillman, New Jersey. The same meal costs $70.18 at Whole Foods Market Inc. and $70.82 at Acme, owned by Supervalu Inc.

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

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Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

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