Study: Walmart “Rollbacks” Are Actually Price Hikes

Here’s something to keep in mind as you’re out shopping for groceries. The prices at so-called bargain grocers, like Walmart, aren’t as cheap as you may think. And the prices at the higher-end stores, like Whole Foods, aren’t as expensive as you may think.

Walmart has an aggressive marketing campaign touting “rollbacks” (better known as price cuts). But a new study says Walmart’s actually been raising its prices on groceries in 2010. Since February, JPMorgan Securities, found a 2.3% average price increase for the items in their 31-item basket of grocery goods at Walmart.

So it appears Walmart is saying one thing, but doing another. The New York Post went looking for answers, but didn’t find any:

” 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,” Blakley said. “

On the other end, the study found that Whole Foods, the nation’s most expensive grocer, has actually dropped their prices by about 5% since December.

The Post story goes on to say:

” Despite the recent increase, Walmart’s prices remain 12 percent lower than those of traditional grocers, while Whole Foods’ prices are about 14 percent higher. “

Two things here. The gap appears to be shrinking between the nation’s lowest and highest priced big grocers. And ads can sometimes be misleading. But I think you already know that.

One Comment on “Study: Walmart “Rollbacks” Are Actually Price Hikes

  1. Hi Mark,
    Customers are not allowed to jot down prices in Wal-Mart. The lower prices are only on the end displays. Attorney Generals’ have brought suit against Wal-Mart in states’ consumer protection acts for untruthfulness in advertising. Every American needs to read: How Wal-Mart is Destroying America (and the World), written by: Bill Quinn.
    This book is an eye-opener that is a quick and easy read. Great to read this posting today!!

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