Wal-Mart Tests New Low Pricing Strategy

"Savings Catcher" rolled out in seven cities

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wal-Mart says it will find deals for you by comparing its competitors' prices and will pay you the difference. NBC 7's Consumer Bob has more. (Published Friday, Apr 11, 2014)

    Wal-Mart wants to check your receipt.  If the retail giant finds that you paid too much at their store, they will give money back in store credit.

    "Typically they have always put the burden on the consumer to show the discounted price," said San Diego State University marketing professor Steven Osinski.  But in this case, Wal-Mart says it is comparing prices on 80,000 food and household products.

    The program being tested in San Diego and six other cities is called "Savings Catcher." Shoppers need to sign up on the Wal-Mart website and register their receipt after each shopping trip. 

    Within 72 hours, a Wal-Mart price tool compares the receipt with sale items at other local stores.  The price difference is placed in the shopper's account as store credit.

    "You can either use the credit immediately or you can accrue the credits over time and make a purchase later on," said Osinski.

    But there is a catch.  Wal-Mart will only check prices at local stores and not online sales.  In San Diego, prices will be compared to stores like Albertsons, Ralph's, Rite Aid, CVS, Target and Dollar Tree but not Amazon. And you can only spend the money at Walmart.

    Cathy Tovar signed up and immediately got store credit.

    "It was a small receipt, and I saved $1.74," said Tovar. "It was like, might as well, it is extra money."

    There are restrictions to the price match: Wal-Mart will not price compare items like electronics, toys, sporting goods, firearms and jewelry.