NEW YORK —
Here's how the tool works: A customer has to set up an account on www.walmart.com, log onto the Savings Catcher page and type in the number on their receipt.
Savings Catcher compares prices of every item on the receipt to a database of advertised prices of competitors that's provided by an undisclosed third party. The tool doesn't apply to general merchandise like clothing or electronic gadgets.
Wal-Mart prices are matched to stores based on geographic location. For example, in Atlanta, Wal-Mart compares prices to nearly 20 rivals, including Aldi, CVS, Food Lion, Target and Dollar General.
Any difference in prices is put on a Wal-Mart online gift card. Customers can accumulate savings or use the credit immediately. They can redeem in stores or online by printing out the gift card receipt.
Wal-Mart's Mac Naughton said preliminary data shows that in the markets that have the Savings Catcher, shoppers are putting more items in their basket and the checkout lines are faster because people don't feel like they have to pull out their smartphones or circular ads to check prices. The company declined to say when the program could be expanded nationally.
Anne Jurchak was part of Wal-Mart's focus group. She said she's been getting back $5 to $7 on her weekly trips to Wal-Mart in which she typically spends $200 to $250. Jurchak has used those savings to buy holiday stocking stuffers and a case for her e-reader.
As a part-time marriage counselor and mother of two sons, Jurchak, 41, said she's never had time to take advantage of price matching.
"They're doing the work for me," said Jurchak, who lives in Belmont, N.C. "The only thing they're not doing is putting the groceries away."