BUFFALO, N.Y. - Walmart generally dominates whatever endeavor it undertakes.
Not so in Sunday circulars though, where the company's everyday low price policy (EDLP) precludes participation in the weekly ritual, which is dominated in CE by sale-driven (high-low) retailers like Best Buy and hhgregg.
Indeed, aside from promotional periods like holidays and back-to-school, weeks can go by without a Walmart insert. IFR Group, a market research firm based here that tracks shelf share and circulars nationwide, intercepted one a week before Memorial Day that was light on CE and heavy on grills and outdoor furniture.
Walmart was represented in two of five core categories that IFR tracked for TWICE and ranked among the 10 lowest-priced products in each, compared with other big-box retailers that weekend, including Best Buy, hhgregg, Sears, Target and Kmart.
Within LCD TVs 40 inches and larger, Walmart had the lowest advertised price - $548 for a 42-inch, 60Hz Sanyo 1080p LCD with 4,000:1 contrast ratio and three HDMI inputs, reduced from $628. Sears had the highest advertised price - $1,530 for a 46-inch Samsung 3D plasma - on a list that was dominated by Samsung, Insignia, LG and Sharp by brand, and Best Buy and hhgregg by retailer.
In contrast, Best Buy singularly dominated the laptop/netbook category with models that ranged from a $330 Dell Inspiron Mini netbook to a $700 HP Pavilion laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor.
Walmart's sole entry, a Dell 1545 notebook, came in at the mid-high range of the list at $598. The model was configured with Windows 7 Home Premium edition, an Intel Pentium dual-core T4400 2.2GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a 1.3-megapixel Web cam and a seven-in-one media card reader.