Getting Its (Low-Price) Point Across
By Joseph Palenchar On Jun 7 2010 - 4:01am
BENTONVILLE, ARK. — To
align its cellular departments with
its cost-conscious customer base,
Walmart prominently positions
prepaid phones on end caps, offers
only prepaid services in its new mobile
broadband areas, and features a
broad array of free phones.
Also in line with the company’s
low-price strategy, the company —
like Best Buy and RadioShack —
does not offer mail-in rebate programs,
which are commonly used by
carriers to reduce advertised prices.
“Walmart’s strategy is always low
prices to be delivered to the customer
immediately, so we do not participate
in rebates,” a spokesperson explained.
“Either we lower the price
of the phone as soon as possible —
like the iPhone — or we will offer
an immediate value of a gift card
with a phone.”
In the company’s Riverdale, N.J.,
store, 18 of 35 handsets on display
on the store’s wireless counters were
free phones. The handsets featured
Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and
Two sides of the four-sided department
featured phones from the
three national carriers on waist-high
counters angled up toward the customer.
A third side featured a dedicated
iPhone display and a dedicated
BlackBerry display with a cellularaccessories
display sandwiched in
The department featured two
touchscreen displays that consumers
could use to select phones, carriers
and service plans.
Near the cellular department’s
counters, an end-cap display offered
Verizon prepaid phones in clam
packs. A second nearby end cap featured
Straight Talk prepaid phones
in a box and prepaid cars, along with
three tethered mockup phones.