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Walmart steps up its low pricing pitch

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Walmart has unveiled new efforts to enhance its everyday-low-price strategy, including broader product assortments and an easier competitor price-matching program.

The expanded product mix will bring back some of customers' favorite products, the discounter said, and ad match guidelines are being simplified. The chain also is kicking off a new price-focused ad campaign and plans new in-store signage.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has unveiled new efforts to enhance its everyday-low-price strategy, including broader product assortments and an easier competitor price-matching program.

Walmart has unveiled new efforts to enhance its everyday-low-price strategy, including broader product assortments and an easier competitor price-matching program.

The discount store giant said Monday that it’s "reinvigorating its price leadership promise," with its latest initiatives highlighted in a new advertising campaign now getting under way.

Efforts include store managers and product buyers checking competitor pricing more often to help ensure that Walmart stores offer lower prices on the right mix of items, according to the retailer. The discounter also noted that it’s working even more closely with suppliers to lower the cost per item and pass on the savings to customers.

"Walmart’s reputation was founded on the principle of providing low prices day-in and day-out on the broadest assortment of merchandise," Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. "Our company is determined to create the best one-stop shopping experience and low prices on the right products backed by a clear, consistent ad match policy."

On the competitive side, Walmart is providing consumers with simplified guidelines for its ad match policy. The company said customers no longer have to bring in a competitor’s printed advertisement; if they find a lower advertised price, it will be matched at the register. In addition, more extensive associate training has been implemented to ensure the policy is executed consistently across all stores, the retailer said.

The product mix, too, is being widened by about 8,500 items, or roughly 11% in an average store, according to Walmart. The company, which had embarked on an SKU rationalization initiative, noted that the assortment changes will bring back some of customers’ favorite local food and consumables, among other products.

Additions to the dry grocery aisles for products like pasta, beverages and snacks have been in under way and will continue, and in the next few months additions will be made to fresh grocery and consumables — such as paper towels, toilet paper and laundry detergent — as well as health and wellness products, Walmart said. General merchandise categories such as electronics, sporting goods, apparel, fabrics/crafts and outdoor living are slated to be expanded later this year.

Customers will be able to easily identify those items with new "It’s Back" flags on store shelves later this month, according to Walmart.

"We’ve listened to our customers and we’re bringing back the products and brands they want," Mac Naughton stated. "Customers have already seen a wider selection of products on our shelves, and we’ll continue to bring back great products at great prices."

Walmart said that on Monday it’s kicking off a national television ad campaign to help customers better understand its low price promise and the simplified Ad Match Guarantee. Plans call for new in-store signage to appear in stores nationwide in May. The campaign also includes local market advertising featuring Walmart associates and their stories, the retailer added.


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