Why is Walmart doing this and why now? Simply put, the nation’s largest retailer wants to drum up more business at a time when its store base is contracting. Walmart needs to draw more customer foot traffic because they’re barely planning to expand their 4,700-store real estate portfolio in 2018. In fact, only two dozen new stores are planned for the next fiscal year. And this is at a time when nearly 300 stores were closed last year, following the shuttering of another 150 locations in 2015. So if Walmart is not going out to customers with more locations, they need to find a way to bring those customers to them. Using price as a lever to get shoppers who are on the fence about online vs. in-store could be to their benefit.
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