Generations of Walmart customers have loved and relied on the store's price matching policy to ensure they're getting the lowest prices. Customers have been able to bring in local and online competitors' ads and know that Walmart would match the price of any item that had a lower advertised price. When Walmart announced last year that it would be discontinuing its price match program at certain store locations, customers were understandably shocked and concerned. The announcement raised many questions. Would this make it tougher to guarantee low prices? Would people need to seriously switch up their shopping habits? How might this affect dedicated couponers and comparison shoppers? The discontinuation of the price matching policy began in June and has continued in waves over the past two months. Walmart initially estimated 500 stores would be losing the price match program, then bumped that number up to 800. Now that the dust has settled a bit and we have some perspective, let's see what Walmart's policy change actually means for shoppers.
Taking away price matching won't necessarily mean higher prices
Walmart made sure to inform concerned shoppers that the discontinuation of price matching would be accompanied by permanent price drops on items that were most commonly price-matched. A rep for Walmart told Consumerist that all stores affected by the price match policy change would receive “significant, long-term” rollbacks on regular prices to make up the difference.
The Walmart Savings Catcher app basically price-matches for you
While customers at certain stores will no longer be able to bring in competitors' coupons, Walmart's Savings Catcher app still works at all stores and it does the exact same work for you—automatically, and for free. Just scan your receipt bar code and the Savings Catcher will instantly compare all your items' prices with online coupons and competitor prices. If it finds a lower price for any of the items you purchased, it will automatically refund you the difference. In addition, Walmart will still accept coupons issued by specific brands. Just one more reason not to worry!
The change only affects a relatively small number of stores
Walmart isn't saying which stores will be affected by the change, but The Penny Hoarder polled readers to compile an extensive list of stores that have ceased price matching. You can see the list here. It looks like the program is being nixed in stores spread out pretty evenly across the country. And while 800 might seem like a lot, keep in mind that Walmart currently operates over 4,000 stores across the country. So chances are that, if you're a dedicated price matcher, you can still find a store that will honor your shopping strategy.