If you haven’t heard the news yet, there is a sign posted at my local Walmart, announcing the end of their price match policy, set to end on October 24th, 2016 for my local store. All stores are set to follow suit. The ending of this policy, leaves Walmart stores with only one customer motivated program; Savings Catcher, but is Savings Catcher enough? For the average customer, it may be enough, but for extreme savers like myself, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere. Allow me to explain with 10 very specific reasons why I’ll be boycotting Walmart.1. Savings Catcher has holes in it’s program. Most importantly, it doesn’t catch much. It does not catch many staples such as milk, meat, breads, deli items, bakery, fresh fruits and vegetables and anything else that needs to be weighed at purchase. It also doesn’t always catch sales such as 10 for $10 or 2 for $5. Also, many stores are not matched in the Savings Catcher program. The stores vary by location.
2. Walmart doesn’t have a shoppers reward program or a loyalty program like most big box retailers. My keychain is full of loyalty cards, that I scan at checkout. For example, Meijer has a loyalty program called Mperks. I scan my card at checkout and everything I purchase is tracked in my loyalty account. So what is so important about loyalty programs? Well loyalty rewards of course! For every $75 I’ve spent at Meijer this month, I earned store credit for $5 off my next transaction. CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens all have similar programs where after you spend a certain amount, they’ll issue you some store credit.
3. They don’t offer dramatic sales that change each week, like stores such as Kroger and Meijer do. Walmart claims to offer lower prices everyday, but I don’t see that. For example, a box of General Mills cereal is almost always $2.50 at Walmart, but other stores often drop that price as low as $1.49. A dollar off per item really adds up, but it won’t at Walmart.
4. Walmart doesn’t offer store coupons. Meijer has an app, loaded with Meijer store coupons. CVS has a kiosk that prints CVS store coupons. Target has store coupons available in text format, loaded in their app, and tons of printable coupons on their website. Walmart doesn’t routinely (if ever) offer store coupons.
5. Walmart doesn’t offer any products at an extremely reduced price, in an effort to attract customers into their stores. For example, Aldi offers gallons of plain milk for .99 cents, eggs for .89 cents, and bread/buns for as low as .50 cents. Honestly, I’ve found hamburger and hot dog buns with long expiration dates at Aldi for .25 cents in the past month. Their other items are also offered at a fair price, but these household staples are always highly discounted to bring customers into the store. Walmart may offer fair prices on many items, but they currently don’t offer any extremely reduced household staples on a regular basis. A gallon of milk at my Walmart at the lowest is $1.99. My family goes through at least 5 gallons a week. At my local Walmart, that would cost me $517.40 per year. At Aldi, that will cost me $257.40 per year! Just by buying my milk at Aldi, I’ll save over $200 a year! That makes my weekly trip to a larger city, worth the drive.
6. Walmart doesn’t stack coupons. Every other big box retailer, allows you to stack a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. Walmart doesn’t even offer store coupons and are considerably more difficult than other stores about accepting manufacturer coupons.
7. Another downfall with Walmart is that the customer won’t be able to take advantage of price adjustments, because Walmart doesn’t change their prices every week. Other stores offer something called a price adjustment. Since they change the price of their items weekly, it is highly likely that the customer will buy an item at a higher price that lowers in price the next week. Stores such as Meijer and Target will offer you a price adjustment within a week of buying your item. You don’t even need the items you’d like to adjust. Just bring your receipt to the customer service desk, ask for an adjustment and they’ll refund you the difference in a matter of seconds!
8. Walmart doesn’t routinely offer gift cards for buying certain items, like Target does. Every week at Target, customers can earn Target gift cards for buying certain items. For example, this week you can earn a $5 Target card for purchasing 4 Tresemme products in the same transaction. In that same transaction, you can use any available manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and Target Cartwheel. You are allowed to use one of each discount per item. Cartwheel is a store savings program/app, that offers an instant percentage off hundreds of in-store items, so the savings can pile up quick at Target.
9. Another benefit of shopping at other stores is the gas rewards. Meijer, Kmart (coupon prints at checkout occasionally) and Kroger all offer additional money off at the gas pump, for spending your hard earned cash in their stores. Last summer CVS even offered a similar program where I earned a $10 BP gas card for spending $30 on certain items. Walmart has a gas station, but the only way to save on their gas, is to pay with a Walmart gift card to save .03 cents a gallon, which only amounts to .30 cents a week in savings for myself.
10. Finally, I’ll be shopping elsewhere because Target and Meijer still price match! Target has a liberal price match policy that even includes online retailers such as Amazon. Just make sure you checkout at customer service to take advantage of price matching at Target.
I for one am very disappointed with the end of Walmart’s price matching program. I personally don’t see the value in their only customer motivated program, Savings Catcher. As a customer, we have so many options. While these options may take some getting used to and a little extra time out of your day, they’ll really stretch your paycheck each week. Other stores offer so many programs to attract customers and save our money, so until Walmart focuses more on attracting me as a customer with some kind of savings in the form of store coupons, gas rewards, gift cards, or loyalty rewards, my business will lie mostly with other retailers.