The weekly ads contain more than just items and prices. They provide clues to the positioning a retailer will be taking and who is willing to drive traffic. During the key weeks leading up to Christmas Walmart sent a loud message to the market with their turkey pricing. The low price was a message to consumers and the competition. The message to consumers was ‘come to Walmart for the best prices on the items you buy during the holidays’ and the message to the marketplace was ‘don’t mess with us, we will invest to maintain our price leadership’.
Turkeys are one of the most impressionable items in December. The consumers at Walmart stores carrying out the Christmas dinner for under $15 were very happy. Sure there were days when they ran out but overall the consumers I saw were happy. it will be very interesting to see if the competition responds early in 2015. Watch the ads for some clues.