Meijer Price Match Guarantee

Does the Meijer price match guarantee save people money? Surprisingly the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It’s a money jungle out there, and learning how to stretch a dollar can be the difference between beaucoup bucks or digging for couch change. Loyalty and discount programs can become an important part of your money-saving arsenal but let’s learn how they work first.

Meijer takes the Road Less Traveled

In 1934, Hendrik Meijer decided to lay down his barber shears to open a humble grocery store in Greenville, Michigan. True to the American dream, the Dutch immigrant grew his business into a flourishing family-owned chain of supercenters where customers can buy anything and everything. The company’s forward-thinking vision meant they were the first to trial-run the supercenter concept in 1967 and the first to offer self-serve shopping and carts.

However, the Michigan-based company is coming under increasingly intense pressure from big box store competitors like Walmart. They’ve made several changes to their approach, and one of them was to discontinue their Meijer price match guarantee policy in November 2013. On their website, Meijer explained they strive to provide low prices every day, and part of that promise means they don’t match ads from other retailers.

Meijer Price Adjustment Policy

The retailer doesn’t want to leave their customers completely out in the cold, so Meijer rolled out their Price Adjustment Policy. A budget-minded buyer can get the difference on any item (general merchandise and food) that goes on sale within ten days of the purchase. Some exclusions include items priced for special event days, limited supply, mail-in rebates, etc. Keep in mind this is only for purchases made at Meijer and prices set by Meijer.

Price Matching not Always a Perk

But is price matching in the best interests of the consumer? Some economists and antitrust agencies believe the practice can interfere with a business’ impetus to lower prices. For example, Meijer decides to discount the price on a specific brand of coffee. A customer comes along and decides to shop the lower price at their favorite retailer (let’s call it Squalmart). So, Squalmart gets the business; the customer gets their coffee, and Meijer is wondering why they bothered.

Additionally, price matching can give customers a false sense of security. Researchers Maria Arbatskaya, Morten Hviid, and Greg Shaffer found that 86 percent of merchants that offered price matching policies for all prices did not provide the lowest price to customers. Conversely, 75 percent of retailers who offered to match only advertised prices already provided the lowest prices.  In this case, perhaps the supercenter chain’s decision to discontinue the Meijer Price Match Guarantee is yet another example of their pioneering attitude.  By already offering the best prices possible, they save their customers the time and effort it takes to search through weekly circulars for the best deal.

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Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash