Walmart accused of abandoning families at worst time

Walmart accused of abandoning families at worst time

Walmart Canada will end its competitive pricing program for consumers effective October 15. A policy that forced the retailer to match the prices of its competitors.

“He leaves families down when the company made a lot of money during the pandemic while their stores remained open,” laments the mother of two Vanessa Pineault.

“Not all families can afford to spend gas on 45 different grocery stores to save money,” she continues, fearing now that other chains are following suit.

To take advantage of this program, customers had to provide printed or digital proof of the price of the product from a competitor. The item had to be identical and in stock to obtain the price revision. This policy affected the majority of products, especially food.

Ms. Pineault estimates that she saved per week for a family of four between $ 60 and $ 70.

“What was interesting was that the quantities were limitless. You could buy 10 boxes of cereal and take advantage of the discount, ”she notes, asking the giant to reconsider its position.

“Little used”

For its part, Walmart says it is putting an end to this program after finding “that it was little used and that it caused waits at the checkouts”. The company assures that it will continue to honor its commitment “to save Canadians money so that they can live better”.

“Customers know they can count on Walmart for fair prices, price drops, thousands of price checks every week, fast checkout service, and lower prices mean more savings,” says the carrier. word of the banner, Steeve Azoulay.

Walmart is not the only retailer to have a pricing policy. The IGA supermarket chain has a similar program, as do Canadian Tire, RONA, Réno-Dépôt and Best Buy, to name a few.

According to the professor at the Faculty of Administration at Laval University, Yan Cimon, this decision is “unfortunate” for consumers, because this program allowed to have “a real shopping experience in one place”.

Less profitable tool?

“This type of measure was very practical when the company needed to gain market share. Now, he is a very important player and he no longer necessarily needs this tool to attract his customers, ”he underlines. “The cost versus benefit may not be there anymore. On the other hand, from the customers' point of view, it was great, ”he adds.

The latter concedes that the proliferation of price comparison platforms, such as Reebee, may have weighed in the balance of this decision.

Last week, Le Journal wrote that the Union des producteurs agricoles has called on Canada's Competition Bureau to launch an investigation into Walmart and the fee hikes to its suppliers.

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