Published on: April 14, 2010The New York Post reports that the pricing profiles at Whole Foods and Walmart are a little bit closer than the latter, at least, would like you to think.
According to the story, “Wal-Mart, despite launching an aggressive marketing campaign this month touting its price cuts, or ‘rollbacks,’ on supermarket items, has actually raised its prices on food by 2.3 percent since February, according to a new study by JPMorgan Securities. Meanwhile, Whole Foods has stuck with a price-cutting strategy, lowering its prices by about five percentage points since December vs. mainstream grocers like Kroger and Safeway, the study found.”
JPMorgan analyst Charles Grom says that Walmart's discounting thus far has been more hype than reality, and that “in spite of all the visual signs. . . the average price in our 31-item basket (entirely food/consumables) actually increased.”
The Post writes that “Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley didn't directly respond to the study's conclusion that the giant discounter's food prices have increased lately. This month, Wal-Mart is ‘adding new rollbacks and deeper price cuts,’ she said. ‘We've stepped it up where our customers need us to -- with the basics of consumables and food’.”
- KC's View:
- There are a lot of people who would suggest that Walmart’s low price image is precisely that - image, and not nearly as rooted in fact as it would have people think.
I’m not sure I buy that. it sounds to me like a kind of wishful thinking.
But stories and studies like these certainly don’t help, and they imply that Walmart may be managing more for Wall Street than Main Street. Which it cannot afford to do.