Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday November 17, @12:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the BrickAndMortar++ dept.

Walmart is taking a bit of an nontraditional approach to boost sales ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events by raising prices for products sold online and discounting those same items in physical retail stores. According to The Wall Street Journal, the big-box store has quietly raised prices for household and food items such as toothbrushes, macaroni and cheese, and dog food on its website while the prices in stores remained the same. If there are price discrepancies between online and in-store purchases, Walmart will now highlight this on the product's web listing to encourage customers to buy them from their local stores.

It's all part of an effort to increase foot traffic as Walmart continues to compete with Amazon just about everywhere else.

[...] With the new pricing strategy, a twin-pack of Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper costs $3.30 on Walmart.com, but goes as low as $2.50 if purchased at a store in Illinois. The aim is to also help reduce processing costs and increase online sales margins, since driving customers to stores means less shipping costs for the retailer.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/15/16655840/walmart-raising-online-prices-sales-store-traffic-amazon-competition


Original Submission

Related Stories

Walmart Raises Minimum Hourly Wage to $11, Expands "Scan & Go" Program 121 comments

Walmart is boosting minimum pay across all of its stores and handing out bonuses. The CEO says that it's thanks to tax reform:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is boosting its starting hourly wage to $11 and delivering bonuses to employees, capitalizing on the U.S. tax overhaul to stay competitive in a tightening labor market.

The increase takes effect next month and will cost $300 million on top of wage hikes that were already planned, the world's largest retailer said Thursday. The one-time bonus of up to $1,000 is based on seniority and will amount to an additional $400 million. The company is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policy and adding an adoption benefit.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.," Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the statement.

The move comes three years after Wal-Mart last announced it was raising wages, spending $1 billion in 2015 to lift starting hourly pay to $9 and then to $10 for most workers the following year. The increase cut into profit and was criticized by some longer-tenured employees as unfair to them. Since then, many states have enacted minimum wage laws, meaning that a "sizable group" of its 4,700 U.S. stores already pay $11 an hour, according to spokesman Kory Lundberg.

Walmart is expanding a "Scan & Go" program from 50 to 150 stores. "Scan & Go" would allow customers to use a smartphone app to scan items and then walk out of the store with them. Kroger is experimenting with a similar "Scan, Bag, Go" program. These are seen as a response to Amazon, which has been trialing delivery of fresh foods and same-day deliveries. Amazon revealed an "Amazon Go" concept brick-and-mortar store in 2016, with no cashiers in sight.

Maybe Walmart's big plan is to give better pay to a dwindling amount of employees.

CEO letter to employees. Also at CNBC and USA Today.

Related: Walmart Wants to Deliver Groceries Directly Into Your Fridge
Walmart to Deploy Shelf-Scanning Robots at 50 Stores
Walmart is Raising Prices Online to Increase in-Store Traffic


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough

Mark All as Read

Mark All as Unread

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by arslan on Friday November 17, @12:41AM (4 children)

    by arslan (3462) on Friday November 17, @12:41AM (#597997)

    I wonder which MBA came up with that idea. If I see a vendor's online prices higher than its stated in-store, first thing I'll check is other online stores..

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @01:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @01:28AM (#598009)

      "If we charge more we'll make more money" isn't necessarily a bad idea ... unless your competition is charging less. That being said ...

      ... Amazon's prices on food items is not very competitive (the vast majority are sold via marketplace resellers) and they have relatively few food items that have free shipping (unless you spend a minimum amount). So Walmart's idea isn't all bad as long as they keep it to items Amazon doesn't sell (much) cheaper.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by bradley13 on Friday November 17, @08:12AM (1 child)

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 17, @08:12AM (#598102) Homepage Journal

      I frequent a forum where several people have ordered from Walmart. Apparently, the mail order was more than a bit chaotic. One moment, they wanted to underprice Amazon, and offered prices they clearly were losing money. The next moment, the prices on the same items would be back to normal. Shipping would be free on X, but not on Y. The boxes come poorly packed, with heavy articles rattling around, damaging lighter articles; while the return process worked, this certainly cost Walmart more money than good packaging would have.

      tl;dr: This may just be an effort to bring order into chaos. Realistically, mail order should cost more than in-store shopping, because you have to pay someone to fetch and pack the individual orders.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @07:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @07:16PM (#598329)

        "Realistically, mail order should cost more than in-store shopping, because you have to pay someone to fetch and pack the individual orders."

        you didn't think that one through all the way, did you.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by richtopia on Friday November 17, @04:57PM

      by richtopia (3160) on Friday November 17, @04:57PM (#598244) Homepage Journal

      From the article I read, they are trying to set the online prices to compete with Amazon. For things like kitchen staples, Amazon is typically more expensive than retail anyway, so this price dynamic already existed for the most place.

      Proof: a few weeks ago I had a conference call with my friend, and at the end I said something like "Tony, thank you for your help. Let me buy you a present: Alexa, by me breakfast burritos". Because he was in his living room on speaker phone, Alexa bought something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Earth-Burrito-Breakfast-Ounce/dp/B00L5K34LQ/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1510937767&sr=8-2&keywords=breakfast+burrito [amazon.com]

      That is 12 burritos for $62. The reviews mostly complain about the price. Tony immediately canceled the order.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Friday November 17, @01:04AM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday November 17, @01:04AM (#598002) Journal

    I want the best price without having to think about it. If there's any uncertainty, I'll just shun your stupid store online and possibly offline.

    The aim is to also help reduce processing costs and increase online sales margins, since driving customers to stores means less shipping costs for the retailer.

    Well then what is the point of a minimum $35 [soylentnews.org] or whatever it is now to get free shipping? Just charge for shipping or allow free shipping for all items.

    I noticed the same with Costco, didn't use their crap online service (with very limited selection) and don't have a membership there anymore.

    Just shop at ALDI. They know how to cut costs.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday November 17, @02:34AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 17, @02:34AM (#598041) Journal

      Just charge for shipping or allow free shipping for all items.

      Could be that this time of year that doesn't work so well. Roads, rail, and air shippers are swamped, stuff arrives
      late, gets lost, and shippers raise prices too

      Besides, if you go to Walmart they know you will buy more than a case of dog food once they get you in the store.
      Folks not living close or not having a car will pay the extra, but I suspect most others would just put off buying till the next time they drive in that direction.

      Games with prices have been going on forever. If you blacklisted every retailer that played them, pretty soon you'd be out back mixing dog food from the tripe left over from the deer you shot with the bow and arrow you carved from the tree you chopped down.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @03:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @03:07AM (#598047)

      The point of the $35 minimum is to make it less likely that they'll be selling cheap items at a loss.

      Driving people to the stores means that rather than boxing up individual items and loading them onto trucks, they ship large amounts of them at the same time to the same place and the customer gets to worry about the last mile.

      I'm not really sure what's so confusing about that.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday November 17, @01:31AM (4 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Friday November 17, @01:31AM (#598013)

    so, does this qualify as a tax on laziness?

    "how much can we charge before lazy bones gets up and comes into the store?"

    unless the truck drivers have suddenly started to up their sub-contracting fees (unlikely), this isn't about delivery costs, or storage, as they warehouse distribution is FAR cheaper than stocking all the shops..
    *unless* they have a really screwy distribution model, that sends items from the closest store, not from the central warehouse - *then* it would save them money.

    --
    (Score: tau, Irrational)
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @02:19AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @02:19AM (#598034)

      This is about add-on-sales. Store shoppers buy more impulse items than online shoppers. Getting you into a store is what is in Walmart's best interest.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday November 17, @02:39AM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 17, @02:39AM (#598042) Journal

        And, if the truth be know, walking around and buying things you might need next week just because you happeded to see them is probably way better for the environment than you ordering something today, then another thing tomorrow, and the day after.

        Planning ahead saves trips, gasoline, and packaging. If your foresight is dim and upi plan poorly the next best thing probably seeing all the crap and do a weeks shopping in one trip.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @01:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @01:04PM (#598158)

          Granted. But when I had kids under the age of four I was so tired all the damn time I couldn't plan out a meal of dry Cheerios and the next load of laundry, let alone plan out household needs for a week. So I'm sympathetic to anyone with young kids that can't muster the mental energy to shop efficiently.

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 17, @06:26AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 17, @06:26AM (#598088) Homepage Journal

        You and the parent comment to which you responded are both correct, but there is a third element -- Having to deal with the packs of Mexicans (now usually In these kinds of situations I would also include the Blacks, but the Blacks are conspicuously absent from California Wal-Marts, likely due to the fact that they do all of their grocery shopping at 7-11 instead).

        When I was a young kid on the football team, "being born in the Wal-mart parking lot" was one of the more common insults the Blacks used against the Mexicans.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @08:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, @08:36AM (#598104)

    Over here it's the other way around. Stores are starting to get rid of staff, to remove any advantage the physical store has over buying online.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by xpda on Friday November 17, @09:21PM

    by xpda (5991) on Friday November 17, @09:21PM (#598393) Homepage

    Whatever it costs, it's worth it not to have to drive two miles to Walmart and deal with humans!

(1)