Walmart has been quietly raising prices on their website for consumer goods including boxed macaroni and cheese, toothbrushes and pet food, sources have told The Wall Street Journal.
Wal-Mart wants to charge customers more to buy certain products online than in stores. This is part of the company’s efforts to boost profits, drive store traffic and compete with Amazon.
Walmart is known for efficiency, and the cheapest way for Walmart to get the goods to their customers is at their stores. A Walmart spokesman echoes this statement: “It simply costs less to sell some items in stores. Customers can access those store prices online when they choose to pick up the item in store,” the spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
Everyday Low Prices?
The pricing policy isn’t unheard of. Other retailers like Costco generally have higher online prices, and Amazon frequently moves their prices around. But Walmart is a different animal. And that’s the elephant in the room – how will this be perceived by the average hype-price sensitive Walmart shopper?
Walmart may be forcing its customers to choose – low price or convenience.
That thinking could be risky: eMarketer estimates that Amazon will account for 43.5% of U.S. online sales this year, compared with 38.1% last year, while Walmart’s share will grow to 3.6%, from 2.8% in 2016.