Roulston Retail Partner Dick Seesel on Walmart’s Price Comparison Ads: Good Long-term Strategy?

July 3, 2013

There has been quite a bit of discussion recently about whether Walmart’s comparison ads running in markets across the country are working or not. While most consumers are skeptical about price comparisons, the campaign appears to be driving share for the retailer. Dick Seesel has mixed feelings about the long-term viability of the strategy stating, “There is a lot of “fine print” (at least in the newspaper versions of the Walmart vs. Roundys ads running in this market) that would cause skepticism about the campaign. In particular, it’s hard to tell (especially in the TV spots) whether Walmart is doing an exact comparison or cherry-picking the items on both “tape totals” to slant the outcome. If you read the disclaimers, you’ll see what I mean, but there is no doubt that the campaign is working. The price comparisons may be driving share in food and consumables but do not appear to be moving Walmart’s overall sales and margins in the right direction. The focus on the lowest-margin businesses in the store may be counterproductive in the long run.” To read the full posting please visit  Dick’s blog at

Dick Seesel is the Manager and owner of Retailing In Focus, LLC. He was most recently a Senior Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager at Kohl’s Department Stores. Dick is proud to have helped Kohl’s grow from 18 stores to a national retail powerhouse, during an era of change and consolidation throughout the retail industry. During his 24 years at Kohl’s, Dick managed the Women’s Accessory, Jewelry, Cosmetics and Intimate Apparel businesses. Prior to Kohl’s, Dick worked for Dayton’s Department Stores (Minneapolis, MN) and his family’s retail business.

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