Retailers complain to states about Walmart advertising
Friday, January 4, 2013 @ 12:18pm
A number of retailers, including Best Buy and Toys R Us, have complained to attorney generals in several states about Walmart advertising practices, the Wall Street Journal reports. The complaints generally argue that Walmart is using inaccurate pricing or non-equivalent products to lay claim to the lowest prices. Best Buy, though, has specifically singled out problems with a Walmart iPhone 5 sale.
The retailer claims that it lost about $65,000 in profit when the Walmart promotion hit Facebook, since it was forced to pricematch when asked. More importantly Best Buy suggests that Walmart didn't have enough iPhones in stock to meet demand, naturally forcing customer overflow to the competition. Walmart insists that it in fact had 98 percent availability at its stores, and cooperated with Apple to ensure a good supply. At the same time, it says that the promotion was a first-come-first-served deal with no rainchecks where stock did run out.
Best Buy, Walmart, and RadioShack all launched aggressive iPhone 5 sales within weeks of each other, trying to maximize holiday numbers. Third-party vendors typically carry a tiny amount of iPhones next to Apple Stores, though, redirecting a lot of traffic in Apple's direction.