How Does Walmart’s Price Match Measure Up?

By Lyneka Little

Oct 25, 2011 2:54pm
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Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Walmart announced that it’s beefing up its price- matching policy for the holidays.  But is the company’s new policy any better than what competitors are offering?

The temporary price matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from  Nov. 1 – Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

“The great gift we can give our customers this holiday is great low prices on the things they want most, ” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer of Walmart US, said in a statement. “Walmart is easing shopping stress this Christmas by allowing customers to shop when and how they want, all while guaranteeing low prices through the entire holiday season.”

The move comes as the 2011 holiday season, which accounts for as much as 40 percent of retailers’ annual revenue, is winding up, according to the Associated Press.

But, price matching is not new to Walmart or other big retailers.

Numerous retailers like Target, Sears and Best Buy have price matching policies in place year-round. Target, for example, will match the price of an identical item found for a lower price in a printed ad. Home Depot has a match and beat policy that will match the price of an identical product and give an additional 10 percent of the difference.

With holiday shoppers expected to be tight-fisted this year, price matching is one way to lure consumers to retailers.

“When it comes to retail growth this holiday season, slow and steady wins the race – and the same is true for shoppers, who are meticulously calculating the best ways to stretch their dollar,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Knowing their customers are more focused than ever on value, retailers will entice shoppers with promotions that go beyond discount…”

So as retailers duke it out for the projected $465 billion in retail sales, here’s a match up of pricing policies at some of the nation’s top retailers.

 Retailer Price Match-up

Staples  

“If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

Target

“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim. Target.com, the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

 Sears

“If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus, give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to Sears.com.

Best Buy

“Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or BestBuy.com. Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

Amazon

“With the exception of TVs, Amazon.com doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to Amazon.com.

Home Depot

“If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

Lowe’s

“If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s Website.

 *Check the company’s Website to read the fine print and review other requirements for price matching. Price matching varies for in-store purchases and online purchases.

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