Walmart won’t compete with Walmart.com
This is a tale of two shoppers: one who came away happy (me) and the other, a columnist who was befuddled by his experience and wrote about it on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site as well as others.
Here’s how my experience went:
- I needed a toner for my printer so I searched for a good price online.
- Finding a good price I went to a nearby Staples to pick up the item.
- In the store, I easily found the toner, but realized the in-store price was higher than online.
- I went to the checkout, showed the cashier the company’s price online and paid the lower price.
- I was happy.
Here’s how Clark Howard’s experience went:
- He went online to find a Lego set for his son. Walmart.com had the best price.
- Entering a nearby Walmart store, he found the item on the shelf, but the price was 35 percent higher than on Walmart.com.
- He found an employee to show him the online price and was told the store would not match the Walmart.com price.
- Because the store would not match the online price, he went online and ordered the item for pickup at the same store.
- Although he saw an employee take the item he ordered from the shelf to set it aside for pickup, he found he wouldn’t be able to take it home until the next day because he didn’t have his confirmation notice yet.
- He was unhappy.
According to Walmart’s Pricing FAQ, "The merchandise and prices available on our website do not reflect the merchandise and prices available in our stores. Our stores will not match prices with our online store (or other online stores) because we do not consider them to be in competition with our retail stores."
A RetailWire request to Walmart’s media relations department for comment had not been answered at the time of publication.
- Walmart prices are changing to favor online shoppers – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Frequently Asked Questions – Walmart
Are there good reasons why a retailer should refuse to match its own online pricing in its stores? What do you think is behind Walmart’s policy?