In response to a long sales slump and increased price competition, Walmart announced it will broaden its product assortment 11% per store and simplify its Ad Match Policy. The retailer plans to accelerate sales by reaffirming its position as a one-stop shop with the lowest prices.
"Walmart's reputation was founded on the principle of providing low prices day-in and day-out on the broadest assortment of merchandise," says Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer of Walmart U.S. "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."
Walmart's same-store sales have consistently declined for the past seven quarters. Declining sales coupled with competition from chief rival Target, which has been beating Walmart's prices on some groceries and household products, prompted the retailer to take action with these customer-centric initiatives.
Walmart will return 8,500 items to store shelves with "It's Back" flags to identify them. Additions to dry grocery are already in progress, and additions with an emphasis on local products to fresh grocery, consumables, and health products will be made in upcoming months. Later in the year, Walmart plans to expand general merchandise categories including electronics, sporting goods, apparel, fabrics and outdoor living.
In addition, Walmart simplified its Ad Match Policy that matches competitors' prices if customers find a lower advertised price. The new policy promises to match that price at the register in all stores without requiring customers to bring in a competitor's ad as proof.
A national television campaign was launched to explain the low price promise and Ad Match Guarantee initiatives. The campaign also includes local market advertising featuring local Walmart associates and their stories.
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