Study: Walmart Price Cuts Are Actually Price Hikes

If you’ve turned on a TV recently, you’ve probably seen one of the seemingly countless Walmart ads where the retail behemoth brags about its latest round of price cuts. But a new study says Walmart’s actually been raising its prices on groceries in 2010.

According to a report by JPMorgan Securities, since February they have seen a 2.3% average price increase for the items in their 31-item basket of grocery goods at Walmart. This follows a 1.9% increase between January and February.

As expected, Walmart responded to the report with marketing speak instead of actual answers.

“We’ve stepped it up where our customers need us to — with the basics of consumables and food,” a mouthpiece for Walmart said by way of a non-explanation, adding that the company is “adding new rollbacks and deeper price cuts.”

On the opposite end of the grocery neighborhood, WHole Foods, the nation’s most expensive grocer, has actually dropped their prices by about 5% since December.

The report does clarify that, even with the increase in prices, Walmart is still 12% less expensive than “traditional” grocers, while Whole Foods shoppers can still feel snooty about paying 14% more than they would elsewhere.

Report: Wal-Mart food prices going up [NY Post]