Walmart ad match sign

(Update: Effective August 1, a Walmart spokesperson tells Coupons in the News that a “few hundred” additional stores have eliminated in-store ad matching, in favor of “lowered prices on thousands of long term Rollbacks.”)

First on Coupons in the News:

If Walmart already has the lowest prices, there’s no need to match anyone else’s prices. That’s the thinking behind the retailer’s decision to do away with its Ad Match program in hundreds of stores.

Beginning next month, about 500 stores will no longer follow Walmart’s longstanding policy of matching the prices of products that appear in local competitor’s ads. Instead, those stores are promising lower prices on many of the items that are most commonly ad matched, like groceries and household products. That, theoretically, will eliminate the need to ad match at all.

Walmart would not say exactly which stores are implementing the policy change. But signs are already going up in many of the affected locations, informing shoppers that “as of June 9, 2016, our ad match policy will be discontinued at this store. Instead we’re lowering our prices on thousands of items.”

The changes come seven months after Walmart announced a plan to invest billions of dollars in lower prices over the next couple of years. And that process is already ahead of schedule – just yesterday, Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told investors that Walmart was able to “initiate our next phase of U.S. price investment earlier than planned.”

“We began the initial phase of additional price investment late in the first quarter, lowering prices on key items in select geographies,” Biggs said. And now, the “select geographies” that were the first to see the lower prices, are the first to see the end of ad matching.

Those investments in lower prices are expected to continue, and spread to more locations – but for now, Walmart says there are no immediate plans to phase out ad matching in other stores.

Left unsaid in explaining the rationale for the changes, is the fact that ad matching at Walmart was never a perfect process. It was designed to be easy for shoppers, in that they don’t need to present an actual competitor’s ad when asking for a price adjustment. Copies of local ads are meant to be stationed at each register, and it’s up to cashiers to verify the lower price – or just take the shopper’s word for it.

And sometimes that system simply invited abuse. In some cases, shoppers would look for loopholes and ask to ad match a product for which key details weren’t spelled out. That’s how some shoppers, a couple of years ago, managed to get giant 148-count boxes of Pampers diapers that Walmart sells for about $35, for just $9.50 – by ad matching a Dollar General circular that promoted the low price for β€œall counts and sizes” of Pampers that Dollar General carries.

And in one of the most infamous Walmart ad matching disputes, an Arizona man ended up banned from Walmart altogether in 2013, and convicted on charges of disorderly conduct and threatening and intimidating, as a result of his ad matching requests. Several store employees said at the time that the man would often use expired ads and ask for price matches. When they finally decided to crack down and wouldn’t allow him to do it anymore, he began shouting and threatening the cashier – and got arrested.

So not having to make decisions about whether to honor ad match requests on the spot, might make things easier for Walmart cashiers. Not quite so easy for shoppers, though, who’ve grown accustomed to always getting the best prices. But Walmart points out that you can still use Savings Catcher to get a refund in the form of a Walmart gift card, for any items that cost more at Walmart than at local competitors.

Yet, in a way, ad matching and Savings Catcher only reinforce the idea that other stores sometimes do have better prices than Walmart. So now, Walmart is hoping that lowering prices, and solidifying its position as the low-price leader, means you won’t even miss ad matching at all.

And if it turns out shoppers at those 500 stores really don’t miss it – don’t be surprised if signs announcing the end of ad matching at Walmart ultimately start going up in a store near you.

Image source: Walmart

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47 Comments

  1. Pingback: Walmart to end in-store price matching at 500 stores | Clark Deals

  2. I price match all the time and if Walmart was to stop that I would go to the stores that have the sale. I think that is a big mistake if Walmart were to fo through with this so called plan of action……They will be losing customers for sure. So sad……..

  3. Misty Chaplain says:

    Who spews this filth? We price match daily, steadily! We receive weekly ads! Walmart has not stopped price matching we have taken it further to accepting price matching from our online site. We also allow our customers to not have to have their ads, because we carry them in a folder under registers. We also, for the convenience of the customer, have even applied training on how cashiers can avoid scams to better service all of our customers! So, NO WALMARY hasn’t done away with the Price Matching, it is a convenience to our customer to reassure that they still get the lowest price available. We have also implemented the “Savings Catcher ” app which helps those save who aren’t able to go through ads weekly, for whatever reason. So if you come into one of our stores and buy a $15 item and it is in our competitor region for $8, that app will automatically generate a $7 savings within your account. You can scan up to seven receipts a week! Those are just some of the satisfaction to customer policies Walmart is gravitating back towards! So please GO IN THE STORE, PRICE MATCH! Use your Savings catcher every time you shop! Save, Save, Save! And get that Savings Catcher app and use it to save more! Also another download that is very rewarding is ibotta! Hope this reaches everyone well!

    • This may be true in your particular store, but not in about 800 others anymore.

    • ONE OF THE BIGGEST COMPLAINTs AGAINST the Walmart ‘Savings Catcher’ is it DID NOT NOT NOT apply price matches to items that customers were expecting to have price matched. So, dont think for a minute that Wmt is going to apply price matching. If Walmart is (and it is) going to discontinue price matching, I’m taking my money to the other stores where I can get my price match right then and there. Walmart will eventually have BILLIONS of money LEFT IN THESE ‘Savings Catchers’ that customers will never use. Much like the billions in gift cards that dont ever get used. I dont know of anyone who wants to BABYSIT their grocery ads and grocery receipts just to get TICKED OFF each time they find their item was NOT LISTED TO BE PRICE MATCHED. I certainly am NOT. I go into Wmt specifically to price match. My visits to Walmart will now be drastically reduced (and then) equally increased at the other stores. GO AHEAD WALMART, GIVE ME A REASON TO GO INTO KROGER, and MEIJERS (etc). If you dont want my $15,000 worth of business, I sure can and will take it elsewhere. I am NOT BABYSITTING grocery receipts after each Walmart visit just to see if YOU applied the price match. I want price match at the register.

      • Heather Clinton says:

        Thank you! I am a big believer in stretching my hard earned money and I feel like walmart is continuing to work against people by stopping the price matching, savings catcher is a big joke, and to get the closest walmart to take a coupon is a damn battle! !! I stopped shopping with them because if they want to make it difficult for me to save a little bit of money andturn into a do everything online place I hope they go bankrupt.

    • loral rogers says:

      couple of weeks ago I had a Walmart cashier tell me that Walmart will be soon ending price matching… & she too told me about ibotta, the problem is I don’t buy the stuff that Ibotta has suggested.

    • Well the Store’s in Michigan Don’t price match any more…

  4. Pingback: Walmart Announces the End of Ad Matching in 800 Stores Nationwide!

  5. Not a surprise. Wal Mart got burned by this policy (remember the Xbox One scams they got beat on?) and are amping up for the holidays along with trying to roll out Online Store Pickup. They probably eliminated this to avoid the utter disaster it would be to try and “price match” with an online pickup order. Wal mart can’t even function on a normal day. Imagine this? Anyway is wasn’t worth Wal Mart pricing matching any more anyway as a while back they stopped matching CVS, Walgreens, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar General where I am at, in Texas. Also in mid to smaller markets, Wal Mart can target certain brands and sizes of items not to carry at certain times in order to avoid price matching altogether. Just another in a laundry list of things that Wal Mart can and will do to squeeze every last penny out of you while making you believe they always have the lowest prices. Here’s newsflash – they never really do. Their marketing people are masterminds with the highest state of the art technology to pre-determine price points almost daily and make the needed changes based on region. Literally down to what part of the same town you are in. This is why some Wal Marts in the same town actually have different prices even though they have a zip code with one number difference. Wal Mart is an amazing creature. Borderline monopoly in some areas. But until the masses can be educated at the family dinner table with no smartphones (that’s a joke) in 2016 and beyond – Wal Mart will continue to have their sheep of customer base flock to their stores – and have their wallets and pocketbooks promptly slaughtered. Worst part is, 90% of people don’t even realize it is happening. But hey, let’s all play some Pokemon Go.

  6. Tina Robertson says:

    Everything I wanted to say has already been said. I’ll probably take my business somewhere else. I only went to Walmart mostly for price comparison. So I’ll just go where the sales are.

  7. Okay, Wal-Mart.. you just didn’t understand that you all had a great thing when you match prices. Wives that has kids in elementary and high school and as great parents we try to keep our children involved in everything. sports & other ethics. I always love getting my sales prices matched at your store. It helps out tremendously to do this one stop & shop. We have jobs, games to attend, school nights, dinners to cook, homework. So why you take this away. It less help us when we have all this on us mothers to do and some kids don’t have but one parent to do it all as I describe above. At least it help with saving that precious time in the afternoon. Please bring back matching prices..

  8. Robert Davis says:

    Walmart is a great company I hope they stay true the Sam Walton vision. What makes price matching complicated is when personally gets into the issues. A lot of the cashier are under pressure to ring you quickly and then they have to ask a supervisor who’s mind is not on customer service but moving the line. I tell you I never get out of Walmart under $50.00. It is nice to have everything in one place. But Walmart could take a lesson in customer service. It is the price matching that keeps me there. And here is an inside story most of us who really shop know that the buy one gets one free deal are at Publix. And if you want to get your soda you shop Kroger’s because they always have 5 for $10.00 on the 12 packs and their chick is always $1.99 per pound. Paper towels and cheese product are always on sale at Kroger 3 for $5.00. And who do not shop Kroger for 3 cents to 30 cents off on gas!! If you indeed are going to be the low price Walmart’s going to have to step up. For the most part, Walmart cereal is 20% higher than most place. I load up on 3 for 5 on Kellogg or Quaker Oats. Kroger brands when they are 5 for $5.00. I shop Kroger’s and Publix on Wednesday to get the Senior 5% discount. Walmart does not offer that. For the smart shopper, Walmart has always been a convenience thing. Let’s see how they do now.

  9. They should have made it easier for the cashier instead of getting rid of the price matching. I worked at Wal-Mart for 2 months (because they crush and kill your soul as an employee) and doing price matching was time consuming (which pissed off customers) and people would try to pull some crazy shit. Stricter policies and consistency of those policies would have gone a long way.
    As a customer, it’s bullshit having to pay 2.50 for a gallon of milk when I could price match it for 1.99. Also as a person on food stamps, it’s cruel that they take that away. I found out today and I yelled at the manager because she blamed the customers taking advantage of it and that they have been notifying people for two months. I called her bullshit as I shop there every month but she wasn’t even sympathetic. In fact her own cashier didn’t even know about the price matching ban.
    I’m not surprised though, all Wal-Marts are incredibly inconsistent and all the stores in my city have different prices for everything. So if I want to buy cheaper home items, like health or cleaning items, I have to go to a store in a nicer area than mine and on average I save about $5-$15, simply by driving to a different Wal-Mart.
    Fuck you Wal-Mart, fuck you.

  10. THERE ARE NO STORE SIGNS UP OR STORE ADS UP OR POSTED AT WALMART… THAT PRICE MATCHING ADS WILL END? WALMART NEEDS TO POST SIGNS ON THE STORE . INDICATING WHAT 500 STORES THAT WILL STOP PRICE MATCH OTHER STORE SALE ADS… AMEN😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒

    • Patty Parenti says:

      their lose I will just go to the store where the sale is. Don’t need walmart at all. they are just giving sales to other companies.

    • Mary Fowler says:

      The do need too post some signs Got a friend that got embarrassed yesterday when the cashier told her as she was checking out. Glad she in turn told me so I will not be embarrassed tomorrow! Will just have to go to other stores now! Letting all my friends and family too!

      • I wasn’t aware until check-out – she pointed to a blue sign next to her in the front. I spent a couple hours looking for stuff and checking it thoroughly to be correct and alert for their regular mistakes in their favor. We are disabled and didn’t know and asked for an exception this one time. There were no signs in the grocery department or on the doors to get in. They said no. Now THAT’S cruel and inhuman. I left it all there except a few items. I will NEVER go back there again. They are absolutely NOT providing the lowest prices. That is false advertising and they should be charged for false advertising. I never went there before price matching for more than 1 grocery item in passing like generic coffee creamer or raspberries as I walked by and I avoid it like the plague – going maybe 6 times a year because their salespeople have absolutely no manners or know how to treat a customer or act like an employee. They have forced their way into our communities with their expansion plans and profit margins alone and not by way of good products, service, satisfaction, management or prices. When you tell them you came in for a product they used to carry and want it back they don’t care what you want. I bought black knit slacks that had a flair leg that looked nice on all women and they replaced it with straight leg ones that look a baggy mess. Bad decision. They always replace items with inferior ones – always. They take coupons but don’t scan them and keep them for themselves. They accuse you of copying coupons because they’re from a computer webpage. When I’d have a high value coupon they would get mad and not honor it even though the mfr.’s webpage said specifically you can get it at walmart and linked to them. When I go in there it is full of foreigners not speaking English for some reason. My car always gets hit with shopping carts and they won’t share their tapes or take responsibility or put in paid carts until return to starting pt. like Aldi’s. They brought in a new store mngr. to clean it up and he get’s rid of price matching. They ‘re not there to make their life easy they’re there to serve the community and it’s a privilege not a right to do so. We need to stop buying anything there at all until they shape up or ship out. Contact the BBB and your local chamber of commerce for poor business practices. Just the reports count.

  11. Pingback: Amazon, Walmart, and Price Guarantees - TheOASG

  12. Ron Young says:

    Is this story true. It reads as a fake article, mainly because there is no source quoted no names quoted, it doesn’t show under walmart.com

    It looks like what we have here is a case of click bait with absolutely zero sources.

    • The information comes directly from Walmart, but a company spokesman declined to be expressly quoted or cited. So yes, the attribution is not as transparent as I would have preferred. But other sites have since confirmed the same information with Walmart, so hopefully that will help alleviate your concerns that it’s all made up.

      And if I were going to completely make up a story just for clicks, I’d come up with something a lot more outlandish than this!

      • Ron Young says:

        How’s one to know these things anymore unless they question with a critical eye. The amount of fake stories out there is “yuge”.

        Walmart is having problems no doubt about it, it seems their model may have become unsustainable. As many deals as they make they make no profit on grocery sales. And their other goods are slow to move for them to make the kind of money the management seems to be wanting/needing. I see walmart going more in the direction of becoming like Kroger

      • This should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched Wal Mart over the years. First they started with “only matching competitors” and not pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens – often where the better deals were. This store is legitimate. What do you think Wal Mart will run TV ads saying this? lol.

    • Yes, I work for the company and it is true.

  13. As a cashier for Walmart I would LOVE it if we get rid of price matching in the store BUT as a shopper who uses price matching I will hate it. I will have to go back to shopping all the competitors like I did before we started matching ads. Speaking as a cashier you can NOT imagine all the crap people try and pull over on you. We have actually had to come down on a couple of customers and tell them we will not match the prices they are saying unless they do bring in an actual ad. Way to go scammers way to ruin it for everybody!!

    • Kyle Hammond says:

      Well, the way the policy is written, customers are NOT required to provide proof of the sale. So…

    • Use savings catcher it gives you the price matches with out the hassle.

      • Ya After Walmart Gets To Use Your Money For A Few Days… I’d Like To Buy 10 Of Something Instead Of 7 And Waiting To Get My Money Back…

    • J, there is a customer of mine who uses old ads with no dates on them to scam my store. I shouldn’t say this, but I hate her. If she got hit by a bus I would be glad! She knows what she is doing!

  14. Pingback: Walmart Ending Price Matching Of Local Competitors’ Ads At 500 Stores; Won’t Say Which 500 – franniecooper

  15. I have a question! Did Walmart also deal away with price as is? I shop at Walmart where they had a sale going on and the day after the sale the prices were still up. Afterwards when I complained to the manager he and she said that the sale was over. Then proceeded to lie to me and say that the prices were not up after duct taping then to hide the prices. So I yelled at both managers.

  16. Pingback: Report: Some Walmart Stores to Eliminate Price-Matching — Coupons in the News | Walmart News Now

  17. well if my local walmart is one of the walamrts that do away with the price matching they will lose alot of business. i and many others bring the ads in with us from the mom and pop stores the next town over. i will defintely drive over to the next town to take advantage of the other stores’ savings

    • Your suppose to find that Walmart will have matching prices. Plus if you use saving catcher you should still get that discount.

  18. Pingback: Is Walmart Price Matching Ending?! - SD Tech Today

  19. Pingback: walmart Price Matching Policy Update - Ending in 2016 Details

  20. Charlotte Rodriguez says:

    Sure Walmart might adjust some prices but Walmart doesn’t give out specials like another stores they would only drop prices.They do not have specials on household items, toiletries , like other major stores give so no incentives to shopping there but a few pennies dropped ,Hoping you do good Walmart

  21. Pingback: Walmart Announces the End of Ad Matching?! | M&Mβ€˜a Coupon - Don't Tell Mother This Coupon Site!

  22. Pingback: Walmart Announces the End of Ad Matching?!

  23. Pingback: Walmart ending price matching at 500 stores in June 2016 - Mashup Mom

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  25. Honest Couponer says:

    Another classic case of the extreme couponers and unethical bloggers, such as “Yes We Coupon”, ruining everything for all of us ethical couponers and deal -seekers out there. What a shame! Walmart is trying to do the right thing and compete on price as part of its Corporate strategy, but they have to change course because of the crooks! And please, before someone starts bashing “big business”, don’t waste your time! A crime is a crime, regardless of the victim!!!

    • What does extreme couponer have to do with this?

    • I am a proud unethical coupon and retail reality blogger. Wal Mart trying to do the right thing?? ROFL since when!!?? Wal Mart has destroyed more of America than most of us will ever see, all on the back of what basically amounts to Chinese slave labor. You must be a Wal Mart stockholder because you are bashing Extreme Couponing (which hurt Wal Mart Sales dramatically for that two year run it had) , using the word “corporate strategy,” and unethical bloggers like myself who expose the real rationale behind why the companies do what they do and how they cheat the people, of which are usually too ignorant to notice what is going on outside of their smartphone. The real criminals are the corporations such as Wal Mart and all American cell phone companies who collaborate on price, plan and fee structures for their items. Can’t imagine why all of these cell phone companies announce new plans at once? Coincidence? Wal Mart changes things in response to things that haven’t happened yet but always magically manage to come shortly thereafter. That’s the true. Your name “Honest Couponer” simply can’t hide that kind of brutal truth now can it?

  26. Pingback: Walmart Announces the End of Ad Matching! - Grocery Shop For FREE at The Mart!!

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