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Called Savings Catcher the site allows Walmart customers to enter their receipt number and then Walmart's software goes out and checks the advertised prices for what was purchased. Savings Catcher was introduced as a beta test into seven markets last month including Dallas, Atlanta and San Diego. One of the oldest dodges stores use is requiring that exact same model, down to the normally very long model number, be offered in the competing store in order to qualify for the lowest price discount. If Savings Catcher is released to Walmart's national customer base it could prove a huge boon.
Management often faces a dilemma about what type of leader to select – the internal retail rising star or the proven CPG executive from outside the company. Like many Americans who've grown accustomed to deep discounts, Daddino has become so obsessed with sales that she refuses to shop any place that isn't having one.
During the recession, retailers had more sales to lure cash-strapped Americans into stores.
Paco Underhill, whose company Envirosell studies consumer behavior, says retailers are to blame for the increase.
Penney executives say they considered Wal-Mart's model when they decided to change the retailer's pricing strategy. But Penney, which has 1,000 stores, has learned that it's not so easy to duplicate Wal-Mart's magic.
Wendy Ruud, a former Penney's customer, isn't waiting around to see if Penney executives are right.
Like Wal-Mart, Lowe's, the nation's second largest home improvement chain, built its business around "everyday" low pricing.
Lowe's is still sticking to its everyday price plan, but it's re-evaluating to find the right balance between everyday low prices and temporary promotions. Not every retailer is finding it hard to convince shoppers that everyday low pricing is better than fleeting sales.
At the end of last year, Stein Mart started cutting back on coupons, which it had relied on for two years.
The 260-store chain, based in Jacksonville, Fla., says it changed its pricing after it found out that coupon purchases accounted for almost a third of sales in recent years, up from just around 5 percent from 2004 through 2006.
At a time when Best Buy (BBY) is closing stores and looking for a new CEO, rival hhgregg is thriving.
The consumer electronics retailer saw net sales climb 21% in its latest quarter, and it's planning to add 20 to 22 new stores in its fiscal year that began in April. Target routinely teams up with trendy designers for product lines that can only be purchased at Target. It's not a perfect strategy, but Target also has a level of panache that's lacking at its rival discount department stores. Another Best Buy rival that's showing no signs of online stores nibbling at its market share is Conn's. Part of Conn's recipe for success is an emphasis on the appliances and mattresses that have been keeping hhgregg immune from the deadly dot-coms, but Conn's also goes even further by offering full furniture lines.
Conn's 64 stores are also in the farming heartland of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma -- places where the prevalence of homes on large tracts of land benefit its sales of lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. Stein Mart says its pricing shift has been successful in part because it has simultaneously focused on boosting its offerings of trendy, brightly-colored merchandise in stores.
In the latest quarter, Stein Mart's net income dropped 44 percent, dragged down by expenses related to software-related costs.
If an item scans at a price higher than the shelf or advertised price, we'll correct the error.
She decribed the scene: A customer carries an item around the store for a while, then finds another item he prefers. I couldn't believe that having inaccurate prices on the shelf at Walmart raised no concern at all, but I guess that's how it goes after the terms of your lawsuit settlement run out. Walmart has said that it has resolved an issue that was causing an online frenzy among shoppers. The country's largest retailer was selling a 24-inch high-definition Viewsonic computer monitor, an InFocus IN2124 Projector digital projectors and other products, many for $8.85. As customers shared the deals on social media sites like Instagram, wondering if the site was hacked, products sold out in just hours.


A spokesman for Walmart said the company was scanning the millions of items on its site to see if there are still any technical errors causing price discrepancies. Just two weeks ago, Walmart stores in Louisiana experienced another frenzied shopping day, but that time with live customers. There are a lot of tricks of the retail trade that allow a store to make a lowest price guarantee offer without actually having to worry about paying out.
In many cases this proves impossible as many manufacturers make models specific to a single retailer and Walmart is a leader in that category. Walmart has always boasted that it is the Every Day Low Price leader and matching a competitors price is not a new sales tactic, but this service could actually prove that the tag line is accurate. The chain has struggled over the last few years as competitors like Target and Amazon have encroached on its territory. Penney (JCP) and Lowe's (LOW) are trying to wean sale-addicted customers off of sales in favor of everyday low pricing.
He says their discounting during the downturn created shoppers who think everyday pricing "takes some fun out of" shopping. It was part of an attempt to turn around the Plano, Tex-based chain, which has had annual sales declines in four of the past five years. Customers have not embraced the new pricing: Penney recently reported its second consecutive quarter of big losses due to severe sales drops.
Among other changes, the company began eliminating last month its monthlong sales and instead is increasing its clearance sales to every Friday.
Even merchants who are returning to their roots of offering permanently low prices are finding it tricky. But then the company strayed away from that and started offering more sales when the housing market tanked in 2006. It has been permanently cutting prices on a wide variety of items to better compete with Home Depot. Clothing chain Stein Mart has had some bumps, but it's starting to see positive results from its pricing shift. It's now concentrating on what made the chain successful: offering permanent discounts of up to 60 percent on major brands such as Lucky and Nine West that department stores carry at full price.
Well, hhgregg emphasizes heavy appliances and mattresses, which are among the many items that may be too big to effectively sell online.
If vendors can't provide the chain with Target-exclusive products, the company is asking for pricing discounts so it can match online-only rivals. And, naturally, the perishable nature of many of its items also makes them a natural choice for in-store, rather than online, purchases.
Well, it pushed through a 10% increase in its monthly membership fee -- yes, Costco shoppers have to pay for the right to shop there -- and customers didn't flinch at all.
Its 112 used-car superstores offer haggle-free pricing, and they'll buy your used car even if you don't buy one. It turns out that the $3 price accuracy guarantee was part of a legal settlement that Walmart agreed to in 2008. She was adamant that mis-priced items were the fault of customers, who routinely place unwanted items back on the shelf, initiating the problem. I wanted to show the gal at customer service that mispriced products shouldn't be blamed on the customer. The original gal who had helped me called her manager over, and no one cared about incorrect prices unless I'd already bought the items. An apparent glitch on the company's website early this morning led to $8.85 listings for items that included computer monitors and projectors normally worth hundreds of dollars. An error in the food stamps EBT system caused account limits to temporarily disappear, leading customers to load up shopping carts with hundreds of dollars worth of items. It often insists that vendors create a version of their product just for the chain and this means that technically no other store can beat the price because they do not offer that product. Particularly since most customers do not always have the time, inclination or technical ability to search other stores for a better price before making a purchase. We value your privacy and we will never sell or distribute your email or personal data to third party advertisers.
The results come as Walmart is moving away from promotional pricing, adding national brands that had been scaled back in its failed Project Impact program meant to present less cluttered stores.


It has bred a group of deal junkies that won't shop unless they see "70 percent" signs or yellow clearance stickers. It's the biggest shift in pricing in decades, but retailers have a long way to go to convince shoppers that predictable pricing is better than the temporary promotions that they've grown to love. To help break the vicious cycle of discounting, Underhill says merchants have to think of ways to attract shoppers that can be just as intoxicating as two-hour sales or coupons.
Experts say Wal-Mart's strategy has worked because it built its reputation on being able to offer customers the lowest prices every day. The company has since been able to turn around its business in part by renewing its commitment to everyday low prices.
Johnson acknowledged that Penney made some mistakes, but he's vowing to stick to the everyday pricing plan. Shortly after, the company's performance began to lag behind its bigger rival Home Depot, which never veered away from its everyday pricing strategy.
The company says it experienced light traffic over Memorial Day weekend in appliances, flooring, cabinets and countertops because of its reduced discount offerings. The company permanently cut prices up to 8 percent on select items, though it declined to offer details. As Best Buy copes with shrinking margins, Conn's gross margins expanded to the point that it was able to deliver quarterly operating profits and net income that more than doubled over the prior year's performance.
It's a modest increase, but it's significant because it reversed four straight quarters of sales declines. They probably don't penalize you for a simple error, like for writing a check that's returned from your bank.
Incorrect prices are common, and from what I had seen, the errors shouldn't be blamed on customers.
So, while a box of Cheerios is a box of Cheerios in any store, the Panasonic 46-inch plasma TV sold in Walmart may not be the same as the one sold in Best Buy. During that time, Walmart removed roughly 15 percent of its SKUs -- largely national brands -- and took displays out of what was commonly known as Action Alley.Shoppers revolted, and went looking for favorite items elsewhere. They're a thorn in the side of most retailers because the discounts it takes to get them into stores eats away at profits.
In fact, early this year, nearly three-quarters of 1,000 shoppers surveyed by consumer research firm America's Research Group said it would take discounts of at least 50 percent to get them to buy a given item. Lowe's posted a 10-percent drop in net income amid a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year in the second quarter. So executives say the retailer overcompensated by increasing promotions too much afterward, which hurt profit margins.
It also helps that hhgregg doesn't rely on regular traffic from folks picking up the latest CDs or DVDs, as digital delivery of music and video is also clobbering Best Buy. The company's gross profit on used cars is three times greater than the gross profit on new vehicles.
Last year, Walmart reversed this store remodeling initiative, bringing back SKUs and loading up Action Alley with flats of merchandise to win back customers.The number of price promotions in Walmart's basket has declined since June 2010, according to the Kantar study. In fact, retailers' annual profit growth was cut in half between 2006 and last year, according to a survey of 122 merchants by Retail Metrics, a research firm. The company's three-tier price strategy also included monthly sales on select items and clearance sales every other Friday.
Live Better.Last week, Walmart announced that it would be doing more to ensure that customers are getting the lowest prices on everything, all the time.
These findings reinforce Walmart's increased emphasis on Everyday Low Price (EDLP) positioning on any given basket.
At the same time, Target's overall reduction in Temporary Price Cuts (TPCs) since January 2011 made it less competitive in this study.



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