Thursday, November 01, 2007

The retail war has finally begun!

The dollar reaching parity and beyond has left many consumers feeling ripped off at the cash registers. But today at 6 a.m. eastern time, Wal-Mart put a stake in the ground and issued what I believe will not only get the mega retailer more traffic though its doors, but a ton of great PR and goodwill.

Today Wal-Mart announced it will “sell all books, magazines, greeting cards and gift wrap at U.S. list prices, building on its yearlong record price reductions, supported in part by a stronger Canadian dollar.”

While other retailers are making some discounts or cutting out GST on “special days”, the Wal-Mart announcement is symbolic and penetrating. From what I understand, they are the first major retailer to accept Canadian dollars for US listed prices on select items – and that is a reason to celebrate. For example, the delta between Canadian and US list prices on books alone is enough of a reason to buy your best-sellers from Wal-Mart.

I applaud Wal-Mart for leading the charge in this country, acknowledging our strong dollar and acting (somewhat fast) to pass on savings to consumers.

The PR on this announcement will no doubt generate considerable buzz and hopefully spur on other retailers to match this pricing strategy.

Zellers … we’re waiting!


ZoeyBella said...

I've always felt that it was unfair to pay the higher Canadian price. And now, more than ever, it seems silly. So I'm glad to see stores are changing.

I'm waiting for Chapters/Indigo to do the same.

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Yes, Zoey, agreed ... Chapters/Indigo should be selling books/magazines by the US list price as well. Now that would be giving consumers something to be happy about. I love that retailer and would like to see them win over consumers' hearts with a great pricing strategy.

FedUpCanuck said...

Is there anywhere frustrated Canadians can go to be heard and have an impact on this pricing issue? I was about to buy boots from Payless shoes, but the US website (which of course doesn't ship to Canada) lists them at $23.99 while they are $69.99 in stores here. That's 3 times the price for the same item by the same company! A 10 or 20% markup I can understand, but 200%? There has to be a way to expose this racket!