What is a Category Killer?

A category killer is a large, dominant company that is more efficient but less specialized than other merchants in a particular niche or industry.

Category Killer Example

Wal-Mart is a classic example of a category killer. By being cheaper, bigger, more convenient, and more well-known, it has an advantage over smaller stores and specialty stores. A wide selection of merchandise is a common characteristic of a category killer.

Why Category Killers Matter

Category killers are controversial. On one hand, they are champions of capitalism -- their ability to be more efficient often leads to lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, their low prices sometimes come at the expense of product quality, customer service and more modestly capitalized competitors.