Walmart is axing a popular ad-matching tool at 500 stores -- and its a brilliant move

Walmart is ending its in-store ad-matching program at hundreds of stores.

The ad-matching program promises to match lower prices advertised by Walmart’s competitors.

In order to get the discounts, customers must present a competitor’s printed ad displaying the lower price while checking out.

Walmart is axing the program at 500 stores on June 9, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

Walmart says it is implementing long-term price rollbacks — the term the company uses for discounts — on thousands of items across the affected stores to offset the policy change.

The ad-matching program is popular, so the company may face some backlash for killing it. But it’s a brilliant way to encourage more customers to join Walmart’s app.

Here’s why: The app offers a tool called Savings Catcher, which provides customers the same benefits as the company’s in-store ad-matching program.

The Savings Catcher tool scans shoppers’ receipts and compares the prices they paid at Walmart to the prices advertised for the same items elsewhere.

If the app finds a lower advertised price, then Walmart will issue a gift card in the amount of the difference.

The Savings Catcher app will continue to work at stores where the in-store ad-matching program has been axed.

Forcing more people to use the app for savings will not only encourage more engagement with Walmart’s app, it could also speed up the checkout lines since presenting paper circulars can often cause a slowdown at the register.

As an added bonus for Walmart, it will ensure that customers’ savings are re-invested in the retailer, since rebates are applied in the form of Walmart gift cards.

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