Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

March 22, 2014

Walmart's new tool gives competitors prices

NEW YORK — The “Every Day Low Price” king is trying to shake up the world of pricing once again.

Walmart told The Associated Press that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors. The world’s largest retailer began offering the feature that’s called “Savings Catcher” on its website late last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta.

The move by Walmart, which has a long history of undercutting competitors, could change the way people shop and how other retailers price their merchandise. After all, Americans already increasingly are searching for the lowest prices on their tablets and smartphones while in checkout aisles.

Shoppers do this so often that big retailers that include behemoths like Target and Best Buy have started offering to match the lower prices of rivals — but only if shoppers do the research on their own. The idea behind Walmart’s online feature, on the other hand, is to do the legwork for customers.

The tool isn’t revolutionary. For instance, Citibank launched a program two years ago that sends Citi credit card customers a check for the difference if it finds a lower price from an online retailer. But Walmart is the first traditional retailer to offer such a program, and if it’s successful, others may follow.

Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart Store Inc.’s U.S. discount division told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that shoppers are looking for “technological answers to saving them money and time.”

Walmart, which declined to comment on when the program would be rolled out nationwide, said it’s hoping the online tool will build more confidence among Walmart shoppers that it has the best price whenever they shop in stores.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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