Huge news on the retail front Thursday, according to a report from Reuters, Wal-Mart Stores will alert managers in the company’s 5,000 U.S. retail stores that it will soon price match against Amazon. This is not unheard of in the space – Best Buy, for example, frequently price matches against competitors online, including Amazon.
Greg Foran, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, said that many of its stores have already been price-matching against Amazon but, until now, it hasn’t been a formal policy inside every store. The move sounds like it will be a permanent one, and it comes at a particularly important time for the firm. Black Friday will kick off the busiest shopping season of the year on Nov. 28, and we already know what kinds of sales Wal-Mart has planned for its shoppers. The move will likely help bring consumers back into its retail outlets, instead of using them as simple testing grounds before moving online to make purchases through Amazon, which offers free two-day shipping.
TechnoBuffalo checked out Wal-Mart’s existing policy on price matching and found that, currently, it will match any local competitor’s advertised price and does not require a customer to have the ad in-hand at the store. Items must be identical to the competitor’s offer, however, and BOGO deals only apply to one per customer/household, Wal-Mart says. Its current site, oddly enough, says that it doesn’t honor “Internet pricing,” however. It appears that’s going to change very soon.