Walmart is matching online prices from competitors in a test program that could heat up the competition for consumers’ holiday shopping dollars.
The world’s largest retailer has matched prices of local store competitors in the past. But it has lagged behind Best Buy and Target in matching the online prices of competitors, including Amazon.
However, last month Walmart started to test the expanded strategy in five markets: Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Phoenix; and northwest Arkansas, according to the Wall Street Journal. Walmart is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Before going nationwide with the price-matching program, Walmart must consider how much the strategy would eat into profits, media reports say.
Walmart’s online business has become more competitive with Amazon, according to research from Wells Fargo and pricing firm 360pi. In the three months ended in February, Walmart’s prices were on par with Amazon’s.
In August, Walmart’s prices fell nearly 10 percent lower than those of Amazon, where prices have been increasing, the research found.
Deisha Barnett, a Walmart spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that many store managers have already matched online prices for customers on a case-by-case basis.
Walmart rolled out an online tool called Savings Catcher earlier this year that compares prices on thousands of products with those of some of its store competitors.