Wal-Mart's new tool gives competitors prices

By Anne D'innocenzio

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 21 2014 1:15 p.m. MDT

The prices at Wal-Mart stores are matched to competitive stores based on geographic location, but not online retailers. For example, in Atlanta, Wal-Mart compares prices to nearly 20 rivals, including Aldi, CVS, Food Lion, Target and Dollar General. The tool doesn't include purchases on store label brands or those made online. The tool also doesn't apply to general merchandise like clothing or electronic gadgets, but does include groceries and things like detergent.

The savings are issued on a Wal-Mart online gift card and the customers can accumulate savings or use the credit immediately. Shoppers can use the credit in stores or online by printing out the gift card receipt.

Wal-Mart's MacNaughton said preliminary data shows that in the markets that have the Savings Catcher, shoppers are putting more items in their basket and the checkout lines are faster because people don't feel like they have to pull out their smartphones or circular ads to check prices.

Anne Jurchak was part of Wal-Mart's focus group. She said she's been getting back $5 to $7 on her weekly trips to Wal-Mart in which she typically spends $200 to $250. Jurchak has used those savings to buy holiday stocking stuffers and a case for her e-reader.

As a part-time marriage counselor and mother of two sons, Jurchak, 41, a said she's never had time to take advantage of price matching.

"They're doing the work for me," said Jurchak, who lives in Belmont, N.C. "The only thing they're not doing is putting the groceries away."

Follow Anne D'Innocenzio at —http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

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