The rivalry between Wal-Mart and Amazon is getting nasty.
After Amazon announced it would have a Black-Friday-style sale for Prime members on July 15, Wal-Mart countered by offering its own shopping event — starting on the same day — with thousands of online-exclusive discounts.
In announcing its sale, Wal-Mart chided Amazon for making “Prime Day” available only to Prime members, who pay $US99 a year for free two-day shipping and other perks.
“We’ve heard some retailers are charging $US100 to get access to a sale,” Walmart.com CEO Fernando Madeira wrote in a blog post. “But the idea of asking customers to pay extra in order to save money just doesn’t add up for us. We’re standing up for our customers and everyone else who sees no rhyme or reason for paying a premium to save.”
Amazon has fired back, accusing Wal-Mart of charging customers higher prices in stores than they do online.
“We’ve heard some retailers are charging higher prices for items in their physical stores than they do for the same items online,” Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said in a statement. “The idea of charging your in-store customers more than your online customers doesn’t add up for us, but it’s a good reminder that you’re usually better off shopping online.”
Wal-Mart says on its website that store managers are not required to match prices online — or those listed at other Wal-Mart stores — because the company is not competitive with itself.
“Prices may vary from store to store because each store is required to manage its own inventory,” the website states. “Therefore, a manager may lower a price to clear out an overstock item, to reward customers with an in-store sale, or to compete with local merchants. It is not our policy to price match our own stores or our online service since we are not in competition with ourselves.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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