Walmart stores in Minnesota are the latest to stop offering price matching in stores, a policy that has been expanded to 800 of its 5,000 stores nationwide in the past year, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
The brick-and-mortar giant has moved to an emphasis on “always low prices,” a Walmart spokesperson told Retail Dive last year.
The retailers this year also began instituting incentives to buy online and pick up in store. Some 10,000 items are eligible for the discount and are marked as such online, with discounts varying. The Pickup Discount is only available for online orders picked up at stores within the lower 48 states.
Walmart appears to be swimming against the tide when it comes to price-matching. Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Sears and Toys "R" Us are all among those retaining such policies, according to the Star Tribune. EBay on Wednesday announced it will match prices against its online competitors, including Walmart.com and Walmart’s Jet unit, on more than 50,000 items for U.S. buyers.
With the old policy, which still exists in most Walmart stores, shoppers checking out could snag a lower price if they showed a competitor’s ad. Customers at the stores can instead use the retailer's Savings Catcher app, where users can scan their receipts and the app compares Walmart prices to those advertised by competitors, offering an e-gift card for the difference amount if there is one.
But Walmart Spokesperson John Forrest Ales suggested to Retail Dive last year that the price-matching is ending mostly because the retailer is confident that it already has the lowest prices. The ad-matching policy has more to do with price roll-backs on thousands of items at the affected stores, in several departments, which he said would negate the need for ad-matching.
Ales told Retail Dive that, unlike many price cuts at Walmart, which usually last 90 days, such price cuts hold steady for longer. He also said that many of the price reductions are on consumables, which tend to be the biggest item featured in the ads that customers bring in for matching.