Walmart is Doubling Down on ‘Rollbacks’ as Inflation Pushes Prices Higher


CNBC | May 18, 2021


Walmart said it had about 30% more discounts in stores in the first quarter than during the same period a year ago. CEO John Furner said it plans to continue to dangle deals and widen price gaps to stand out from competitors. “Over the last 12 months, we saw our price gaps improve versus the market, and our merchants are working hard to ensure that that will continue,” he said.


The retail giant is doubling down on one of its key competitive advantages as more Americans buy new clothes, teeth-whitening kits and other merchandise to go back into the world again. Furner said the company’s size and mix of merchandise, from apparel to consumer electronics, allows it to push down prices.


Inflation is driving up prices of items from soda to diapers, but Walmart said it is putting more of its merchandise on sale. Undercutting rivals on price is especially important as more shoppers feel comfortable going to different stores to compare and get the best bargain. During the peak of the health crisis, consumers tended to limit their shopping trips, buy numerous items at a single store and go to one that’s nearby.


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