OPNION: Walmart Undercuts Local Businesses in ‘Shop Local — Save Local’ Coupon Pack
"Open for great deals from local businesses," the packet in my mailbox claimed. It's a grand opportunity for local businesses in the greater Oneonta area to advertise and offer coupons to hopefully build their customer base.
Each of the 18 spots comes perforated, so a business can use one side to advertise and the other to offer a coupon. Many of the local businesses featured did just that.
Except for one: Walmart. Which isn't local.
What Walmart did instead was buy six of the 18 available spots without issuing a single coupon. Walmart did what Walmart does, and that's undercut hardworking local business owners.
By taking up 33 percent of the available space, Walmart limited the opportunities for other local businesses that may have wanted or even needed the space. Further, Walmart didn't bother to offer a single coupon to Oneonta residents.
Instead, Walmart used one of its six spots to advertise this:
Our stores will match the price of any local competitor's printed ad for an identical product.
Like some of the other 12 coupons in this packet? Are you kidding me?
Walmart not only undercut local businesses, it blatantly attempted to steal business away. The spot may as well have said, "See the other ads on this page? Bring them to us instead and we'll give you the same thing."
Every business listed in this mailer should be livid. They each paid for their spot only to see a non-local, major competitor notorious for destroying Main Street deliberately attempt to steal customers.
Unfortunately, these criticisms usually go unnoticed. Walmart will continue to wipe out Main Street. It will continue to strategically advertise with local media until it finally crushes the local competitors for good.