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News - Retail Giant Holds its Ground for Loyal Consumers



Retail Giant Holds its Ground for Loyal Consumers

The incentive of Wal-Mart’s “same sale-price” discounts have recently slowed as the mega-retailer took hits on sales of big-ticket items due to late tax refunds and a late spring. However, the company continues to gain market share in groceries and consumables.

Wal-Mart can thank, in part, the hundreds of local market ads that compare the consumer/grocery ratio with its competitors.  This influential media persuasion is running in 70 markets across the nation. The ads show Wal-Mart shoppers comparing receipts from competitive grocery chains to the prices they could have gotten at Wal-Mart.

While competitors have objected to the discount giant’s comparisons and asked state Attorney Generals to investigate in some cases, no formal probes have been launched. In an interview during Wal-Mart’s recent shareholder meeting, Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn outlined how Wal-Mart challenges legal disputes, and also addressed its most recent effort to target fuel discounts, a huge percentage of the stores’ loyalty-card programs.

Mr. Quinn also discussed why Wal-Mart’s marketing department helped push to improve not only the image of the produce it stocked but the produce itself, a department within the stores that some consumers still have apprehension about.

In regards to the pricing war and consumers’ comparison shopping, Quinn stated, “We have a protocol around how all of our sales are done. It’s somebody’s real list. We don’t tell them what to buy. We take those groceries from the competitor and scan them across our scanner so there’s no doubt about … if it’s the same item.”

Loyal Wal-Mart consumers may question the methods behind their “go-to” store for produce, electronics, clothing, and other essentials, but it’s hard to imagine what level of power a competitor has to take on in order to go against Wal-Mart….and win.

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