Walmart admits their prices aren’t the lowest

by Cinda Baxter on October 23, 2009

in Big boxes, Independent Retailers, Retail


From the currently running Walmart “game day” television commercials:

If there’s a better price out there, [we’ll] even match it.

Translated: We aren’t the cheapest.

Walmart’s allure has always been cost savings. Anyone who pays attention wandering through the narrow aisles, however, recognizes “strategic pricing,” where some high demand items may be lower in price, but an enormous percentage of items are not. They’re either MSRP…or higher. It’s all about coaxing ‘em in on cheap toilet paper, then making up the difference in the rest of the shopping list.

Did you notice the phrase “Always low prices” is gone from the current logo, shown at top?

The Walmart logo advertising “Always Low Prices, Always” was replaced earlier this year by a new one that omits the “always” promise (see top of post)

Walmart’s ”compare us” ad campaign (running since early this summer) boasts their willingness to match local retailers’ prices. Well, we all know they aren’t matching higher prices, which means…drum roll, please...the local brick and mortars offer better.

The behemoth big box also knows that consumers aren’t going to take the time to run back and forth between stores on something like hot dogs or paper towels. Appliances, yes (if you can find two retailers selling identical models under the same name), but daily staples? Highly unlikely. As a result, they’ve successfully hedged their bets that instead of hearing “We’re not the cheapest,” consumers will hear “We’re cheapest and we dare you to test us.”

Not quite the same message. Certainly not the same reality.

This round goes to the little guys.

® Walmart is a registered trademark of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Amanda October 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm

This is so true. Also customers, please check the prices of those Great Value products vs. some of the other brands. Not always the cheapest.

Paula November 2, 2009 at 12:12 am

I buy very little meat at Walmart…just to high. I do go to Kroger and JayC stores for their sales on meat and stuff. It does pay to shop around!!

Bright Dancing November 4, 2009 at 8:58 am

I avoid buying anything at WalMart. If I can’t find what I need anywhere else at any price, I will buy there. Since I’ve quit going there, I’ve saved a lot of money not buying stuff I didn’t really need, but picked up at the time because I hate walking clear across the store and didn’t want to have to come back. I buy groceries at a local family-owned grocery store franchise. Some prices there are higher than WalMart, some are lower, but they also hire local high-school kids who are friendly and helpful and learning good work ethics.

Shann February 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I’ve been “preaching” this for some time. Walmart milk is more costly than anywhere in town. They draw people in with a few lost leaders and most people will grab a gallon of milk while there and BAM there goes any presumed savings. I’ve also noticed higher prices there in general in January…making up threefold for those holiday price drops.

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