Wal-Mart’s new tool gives competitors prices

FILE - In this May 28, 2013, file photo, an outdoors sign for Walmart is seen in Duarte, Calif. After enduring a severe winter that chilled business, Wal-Mart is trying to lure shoppers into its stores with the biggest weapon in its arsenal: a big sale. The world’s largest retailer is offering up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items such as lawn mowers and bags of mulch, starting Friday, March 21, 2014, and ending the following Saturday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
FILE - In this May 28, 2013, file photo, an outdoors sign for Walmart is seen in Duarte, Calif. After enduring a severe winter that chilled business, Wal-Mart is trying to lure shoppers into its stores with the biggest weapon in its arsenal: a big sale. The world’s largest retailer is offering up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items such as lawn mowers and bags of mulch, starting Friday, March 21, 2014, and ending the following Saturday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told The Associated Press that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors.

The retailer began offering the feature that’s called “Savings Catcher” on its website last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta.

The move by Wal-Mart, which has a long history of undercutting competitors, could change the way people shop and how other retailers price their merchandise.

Other retailers including Target and Best Buy offer to match the lower prices of rivals – but only if shoppers do the research on their own. The idea behind Wal-Mart’s online feature, on the other hand, is to do the legwork for customers.

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