Walmart combats lower sales with coupons and samples

Walamrt in China

The world's largest retailer is slipping stateside. Image: galaygobi/Flickr/CC BY

Walmart, the world’s leading box store, has been steadily losing customers in the United States. To lure shopper back, the store is using heavy coupon promotions and free samples on its website.

US sales on the decline

Though it is the largest retailer worldwide, Walmart’s revenue has been on the decline in the U.S. for more than two years now. The retail giant has been steadily losing business amid the rise in the popularity of the dollar store. Walmart’s holiday season last year was another disappointment that made stocks dip. Recently, press about the failed class action suit, which accused Walmart of discriminating against women employees, also damaged the mega store’s image.

Coupons and samples to lure shoppers

Walmart’s move to combat losses is to lean heavily on an old ploy, coupon promotions and free samples. But by concentrating the heaviest promotions on the store website, Walmart is attempting to adapt to the way consumers shop today. Walmart’s site, according to the research firm ComScore, was the 29th most visited site in the U.S. in May. The store is offering more coupons than ever and making the site more user-friendly. The site even offers a download for PCs to make it easier for customers to print out coupons.

Promotions from the site

The store’s site today showed bargains on everything from chili to specific movies on DVD and Blu-Ray. There was a giveaway of lens cleaner just for visiting the optical section at any store location. There were many larger discounts only available on the site. Items bought online can be picked up at store outlets for free or delivered for a small added fee.

Samples in stores

Walmart is offering a multitude of free samples in stores — the old try-it-before-you-buy-it approach. In-store events, promoted by calendars on the website, advertise multiple items which can be sampled. July’s promotions include coffee, cereal, yogurt, olives and more.


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