Merchant Innovation

Walmart Is Phasing Out Its Price Matching Program

Walmart Ends Price Matching

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Monkey see, monkey do. Follow the leader.

Whatever your preferred platitude, the news of Amazon's quiet strangling of its price matching policy this week seems to have emboldened others to do the same.

Namely, Walmart, the largest in-store retailer in the country.

Retail Dive reported that Walmart will be giving the axe to its price matching policy at 500 stores effective June 9. The new policy removes the option to show cashiers ads from competitors offering lower prices for Walmart products, which used to win customers the lower price. Now, there's one less reason to carry around circulars.

However, Walmart isn't doing a full 180 on price matching, as Amazon seems to be. Instead, Walmart shoppers can still enjoy a modicum of price matching through the retailer's Savings Catcher app. Once users scan their receipts and the app indexes their purchases, it automatically cross-references the paid-for price with other advertised price points. If a discrepancy favors the buyer, the app issues them a Walmart gift card for the difference.

It might not be the same as paying the lowest possible price at Walmart no matter what, but the change does serve the purpose of driving more customers toward Walmart's mobile apps. Despite the probable initial backlash from consumers, it might benefit Walmart, in the long run, to move a well-loved service over to a platform that can drive more sales — and keep the price differences within the Walmart ecosystem — than somebody waving a newspaper ad in a checkout line ever could.

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