Should grocers make a big deal out of freezing prices?
On Walmart’s second-quarter conference call, Doug McMillon, CEO, said the retailer’s merchants are focused on “holding prices down or rolling them back” across categories based on demand.
The categories tend to be opening price point, private brand, food and consumables, he noted.
“We want to help families put meals on the table with Great Value and our other private brands to relieve the pressure they’re feeling. The quality, value and convenience we offer make Walmart a smart choice, and we’re seeing more middle and higher-income shoppers choose us,” he said.
Like most other chains, Walmart is not publicly promoting its efforts to reduce or hold prices, outside of typical communications, but a few have.
In mid-May, Weis Markets unveiled a multi-million-dollar investment to cut prices on “hundreds of its best-selling frozen products.” Bob Gleeson, Weis’ SVP of merchandising and marketing, said in a statement, “Given recent increases in consumer costs, saving money is extremely important to our customers.”
Lidl in early June announced a campaign to temporarily drop prices on more than 100 items in all of its U.S. stores. Giant Eagle around the same time announced a special 20 percent discount on more than a thousand items for myPerks loyalty members.
Overseas, Australia’s Coles said last week it would lock in the price of more than 1,100 popular products until 2023 and lowered the prices on 500 more household essentials. Competitor Woolworths in June vowed not to raise prices on almost 200 “essential trolley items” until the end of the year.
In the U.K., Boots, Superdrug, Primark, Gousto and Weird Fish have all announced price-freeze schemes this year, while Asda and Morrisons reduced prices of essential items.
In France, French supermarket group Carrefour last week announced plans to freeze prices on about 100 “everyday essential” products, including food and non-food categories, for 100 days through November 30. The campaign joins other pricing pledges as part of an “anti-inflation challenge” launched in early June.
Carrefour said in a statement, “Household budgets continue to be hard-hit by inflation, and that’s why Carrefour is doing everything it can to protect its customers’ purchasing power.”
- Walmart Inc. (WMT) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Weis Markets Announces Sweeping Price Reductions On Hundreds Of Its Best-Selling Frozen Products – Weis Markets
- The Lidl Price Drop Campaign Officially Begins June 8 – Lidl/PRNewswire
- Giant Eagle revamps loyalty program for customers amid inflation, supply chain challenges – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- What We Are Doing To Fight Inflation: Carrefour – Carrefour
- French retailer Carrefour to freeze prices on 100 products to tackle inflation – Reuters
- Seven retailers freezing prices amid the cost-of-living crisis – Retail Gazette
- Supermarkets freeze prices on home brand staples as affordability bites – The Sydney Morning Herald
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should retailers be doing more to publicize their efforts to selectively hold or reduce prices at this time? How effective are campaigns to temporarily reduce or freeze prices in driving incremental sales volume?