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Walmart has rolled back its rollbacks. Earlier this year, the retailer tried to spark sluggish U.S. sales by lowering its prices - already bargains - even further. One analyst called it "an initiative that screams: Price! Price! Price!" These rollbacks, as they are known in Walmartspeak and in the company's advertising, were intended to overwhelm the shopper. In May, according to one shopping website, the price of a 40-oz. bottle of Heinz ketchup, which had been $2.42, was chopped to $1. Kraft mac and cheese, which had been going for $3.58, was reduced to $2.50. The rollback of a 50-oz. bottle of Tide laundry detergent, which was priced in the $7.48-$8.12 range, gave shoppers a $2.50 discount. Walmart expected a flood of customers to its stores, which would help lift the company's stock out of its rut and get Walmart rolling again.

[Related: 7 marketing ideas so bad, they became famous]

Instead, cutting prices depressed sales, as shoppers took the bargains and ran. For the quarter ending July 31, Walmart's U.S. same-store sales fell 1.8%. The company's same-store sales have now fallen for five straight quarters. Of the rollback strategy, Bill Simon, the president and CEO of Walmart U.S., told investors at a September conference, "It did not do what we had hoped it would do. It did, however, drive price perception. It did not drive sales or traffic." As a result, Walmart rolled back the deeper discounts, and prices started inching upward this summer. According to a new report from J.P. Morgan, the price of a 31-item basket from a Walmart store in Virginia rose 2.7% in September alone. Walmart prices have jumped 5% since the start of the year and have been at their highest levels in the 21 months J.P. Morgan has tracked pricing data. (Read about Walmart's March 2010 slump.)

While Walmart may have stopped giving away the store, that doesn't mean customers will be facing sticker shock. "Walmart still stands for low prices," says David Strasser, equity analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott. Of the five retail-store chains J.P. Morgan studied (Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, a 192-store chain in the Southeast), Walmart still had the lowest prices. (The Walmart basket cost $95.75 in September; Kroger, at second lowest, came in at $101.93.) (See the first Walmart in TIME's 50 authentic American experiences for 2009.)

Still, the move signals a shift in strategy. Since the rollbacks didn't spur enough additional sales volume,.....

....Walmart needs to squeeze more revenues out of existing shoppers in order to satisfy analysts, institutional investors, shareholders and employees who are hungry for domestic growth.

"Walmart is under unprecedented profit pressure," says retail consultant Burt Flickinger III, managing director for Strategic Resources Group. Walmart stock, which traded at $53.57 as of the Oct. 4 market close, is essentially flat for the year and 15% off its high before the September 2008 market crash. With economic conditions not as dour as they were in late 2008 and early 2009, now could be a good time to pull off a price increase. (Comment on this story.)

The changes also reflect a shake-up in Walmart management. Under Project Impact, a strategy executed by former U.S. CEO Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart not only instituted more aggressive price-cutting but also moved to make its stores cleaner and better organized. Walmart's so-called Action Alleys, the often cluttered thoroughfares laden with promotional deals, were streamlined. But in order to make the aisles more breathable, Walmart reduced the number of items offered in the stores by about 15%. (See the top 10 toy crazes.)

It turned out, however, that shoppers really liked the many brand choices, so they went elsewhere for variety. In March, Walmart began restoring 300 brands and package sizes. In late June, Castro-Wright was transferred to global sourcing, and Simon, the chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., took over as CEO. Under Simon's direction, the price rollbacks were rescinded, even more items were stocked on the shelves and Action Alley was recluttered - though Simon insists the aisles will still be less cluttered than they were in the old days.

The company will meet with the investment community at its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters this week. There, executives might offer more hints about Walmart's direction. Overseas expansion remains robust. International sales rose 11% last quarter, Walmart added almost 5 million sq. ft. (465,000 sq m) of overseas retail space during that period and the company plans to keep expanding outside the U.S. Things are looking up in places like Brazil and China. Now Walmart hopes to see if higher prices will prop up America"
 

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....Walmart needs to squeeze more revenues out of existing shoppers in order to satisfy analysts, institutional investors, shareholders and employees who are hungry for domestic growth.
More anti-colonialism?
 

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WalMart= Bad for America:nuts:
A huge port for communist made goods

Offers part time low paying jobs, and the employees pay for their own medical insurance,

Try to live on $10 an hour

Friends like you I don't need

Favors like yours Rob Americans of Jobs and further encourage outsourcing, :nuts:

WALMART Corp. The American Scam
 

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I wouldn't take Heinz ketchup if you gave it to me.

I go to Walmart for 2 things. Oil and filters.
 

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WalMart= Bad for America:nuts:
A huge port for communist made goods

Offers part time low paying jobs, and the employees pay for their own medical insurance,

Try to live on $10 an hour

Friends like you I don't need

Favors like yours Rob Americans of Jobs and further encourage outsourcing, :nuts:

WALMART Corp. The American Scam
Not sure where you get that idea. I have many patients who are Wal-Mart employees. We have a store and a distribution center in our area. These folks have great insurance, and it is a benefit mostly paid by Wal-Mart. Virtually every one of them is happy to have their job and the great benefits that go with it. Many of your slams fall in the urban myth category. In the old days, people with little skill or education went the industrial route in order to get a good job with benefits. Most of those opportunities are gone now. If Wal-Mart and other retail giants didn't exist, these people would all be working for small businesses that can't afford paid benefits. It's not perfect, but it fills an important niche in the job world.
 

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Remember Wal-Mart's "made in the USA" slogan? Well guess what, people didn't want made in the USA, they wanted cheap, and they got it. Don't blame Wal Mart for being smart enough to give their customers what they want, someone was going to.
 

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So what's the issue here?

Loss leaders are goods or services offered at steep discounts (generally below cost) in order to attract new customers to a store. It is a time-honored practice that has been met with much success, especially by large discount retailers. The intent of this pricing strategy is to not only have the customer buy the (loss leader) sale item, but other products that are not discounted.
http://retail.about.com/od/marketingsalespromotion/a/loss_leaders.htm

A retailer tried to bring in new customers and additional sales money by using "loss leaders" and it backfired. The average Walmart "cutomer" is looking for the lowest price period. If you drop Mac n Cheese and Ketchup to the lowest prices ever, a lot of poor folks are going to eat tamato Mac n Cheese as long as they can. Since the marketing idea did not increase other sales, they are retreating back to normal pricing. So what?

What about this makes Walmart evil? :huh: Of course food prices are at a two year high! They're back to normal again. :huh:

No news here.
 

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I don't understand the hatred towards Walmart, What import products do they sell that their compeditors don't?

They constantly have the lowest price for Mobil 1 and they have the largest car care products selection where I live.:lookinup:
 

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I don't understand the hatred towards Walmart, What import products do they sell that their compeditors don't?

They constantly have the lowest price for Mobil 1 and they have the largest car care products selection where I live.:lookinup:
I don't understand how they can price their synthetic oils so cheap???

I've been buying their Mobil 1 and/or Pennzoil Ultra Full Synthetic 5 quart containers for $24! $4.80 per quart???? :thud: All other retailers are $6-$8/quart. :huh: Hope they don't roll this rollback back! :lookinup:
Then I might be pissed! :laughing:
 

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I don't understand the hatred towards Walmart
:laughing: You gotta understand the leftist mentality. Hatred of non-conforming businesses is their game. Look at this admin and their vile, hateful lies and smears against the Chamber of Commerce.. :laughing: Target's CEO made a contribution to the Republican party, and the left went after Target hard for it.

Why do you think they are after small businesses? Their tax schemes aren't aimed at soaking the rich, but eliminating the middle class. They would prefer everyone either be A: Employed by the gov. or B: Employed by a heavily taxed/regulated business controlled by unions.

Wal Mart is the big boy.. the natural target.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Many of your slams fall in the urban myth category. In the old days, people with little skill or education went the industrial route in order to get a good job with benefits. Most of those opportunities are gone now. If Wal-Mart and other retail giants didn't exist, these people would all be working for small businesses that can't afford paid benefits. It's not perfect, but it fills an important niche in the job world.
:agree:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't understand the hatred towards Walmart, What import products do they sell that their compeditors don't?
:agree:

Meijers, Target, Sears, Kohls, ...Virtually every store everywhere has mostly imoprted products.
 

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Can someone please explain when working in a grocery store became a high paying job? People are complaining that they only make $10 an hour. With the exception of management positions what amount of extended schooling, college degree, or special training was needed to obtain that job? My son, age 24, will be graduating from Marquette this December with a Mecahanical Eng. degree. His chances of getting a job in his field are very slim, at least for now......just like many other graduates. His current job that helps keep him afloat pays $9 an hour, part time. No benefits. After 5 years of hard study, (learning does not come easy to him), he's ready for a real job. So where do these people that think they should be making a milion dollars stocking grocery shelves get that idea?Because they have a family? I don't think so. Nobody told them to have kids if they couldn't afford them.
 

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Can someone please explain when working in a grocery store became a high paying job? People are complaining that they only make $10 an hour. With the exception of management positions what amount of extended schooling, college degree, or special training was needed to obtain that job? My son, age 24, will be graduating from Marquette this December with a Mecahanical Eng. degree. His chances of getting a job in his field are very slim, at least for now......just like many other graduates. His current job that helps keep him afloat pays $9 an hour, part time. No benefits. After 5 years of hard study, (learning does not come easy to him), he's ready for a real job. So where do these people that think they should be making a milion dollars stocking grocery shelves get that idea?Because they have a family? I don't think so. Nobody told them to have kids if they couldn't afford them.
According to the left, no human being is worth more than another, so migrant workers should make the same income as brain surgeons. Never mind that every attempt to make that parity has ended in utter failure. They want us to try again to find utopia.
 

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Then all goods and services would have to cost the same. A banana would have to be the same price as a brain surgery. :crazy:
 

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MMMMMMM Tomato with Mac and Cheese. 20 years ago when I struck out on my own, that was a gormet meal! I had many of meals of Top Roman. MMMMMM Chicken Roman Soup. You look on the back of the packege, it says for meal ideas...."Add Chicken" How are u suppose to add something your suppose to already be????? That cost 20 times more??? Should have been called noodles with chicken flavored powder.
OMG 10$ an hour with Bennifiets!!! A job where I can be stoned out of my Gore and make that kind of money. I have heard it being a perfect retirement job, now I know for sure!!:thumbsup: seriously:thumbsup:
 

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MMMMMMM Tomato with Mac and Cheese. 20 years ago when I struck out on my own, that was a gormet meal! I had many of meals of Top Roman. MMMMMM Chicken Roman Soup. You look on the back of the packege, it says for meal ideas...."Add Chicken" How are u suppose to add something your suppose to already be????? That cost 20 times more??? Should have been called noodles with chicken flavored powder.
OMG 10$ an hour with Bennifiets!!! A job where I can be stoned out of my Gore and make that kind of money. I have heard it being a perfect retirement job, now I know for sure!!:thumbsup: seriously:thumbsup:
Young people don't think they are supposed to go through a poverty stage these days. My wife and I were married at 21 and didn't have two dimes to rub together. I joined the Navy so we could live while she was in nursing school, then she worked as a nurse to put me through college and dental school. Then we waited to have kids until a few months before I was graduating. We learned every free mode of entertainment from San Diego to DFW. The years of struggle makes the payoff that much better -- except for the fact that once you get the payoff, the left thinks you are greedy and rich and want to confiscate your payoff. Oh, well, life sucks, but the ride has been fun. :cheers:
 
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