10/31/2005

Does Wal-Mart Equal Quality?

Wal-Mart will roll out its holiday advertising campaign next week, and jitters that the seasonal pricing competition is getting an early start put pressure on shares of electronics retailers Circuit City and Best Buy. Wal-Mart said it would launch an "aggressive" advertising campaign for the holidays starting on Nov. 1, which would make it the earliest launch in the retailer's history. They are trying to lure higher-spending shoppers into their store by offering more high-end items such as: high definition, flat screen televisions, portable DVD players, and a wider variety of digital cameras. Haven’t we learned that a lower cost usually means lower quality? I don’t mind going to Wal-Mart to purchase a camera or an MP3 player, but if I am going to buy something as expensive as a flat-screen television I would much rather go to Best Buy. Stores like Best Buy and Circuit City can’t necessarily compete with Wal-Mart’s prices, but when it comes to extra warranties and guarantees I feel more comfortable at Best Buy. It’s no secret that Wal-Mart will take nearly anything back, but that’s because that is exactly what you’ll do when buying a high-end item from them is take the piece of junk back.

6 comments:

taylor said...

Wal-Mart has a lot of items that I do buy, but I am with you Bob I don't think that I would buy a high definition television from them. Wal-Mart can't compete with Best Buy's quality.

Alex said...

I agree as well. It's nice to be able to take things back to Wal-Mart, but I've heard lately that they won't take back some things, such as i-pods. If you buy it, it's yours for life. So, when buying items such as big screen T.V's or i-pods, i would rather go to the manufacturer. They will usually be helpful in getting you exactly what you need/want, and they are more likely to take back their own items.

Logan said...

I guess it depends on how smart we are as shoppers. Just because a retail store that is classified as the price leader decides to sale high end items doesn't mean that the products are of lower quality. It may simply mean that they can get them for cheaper. Or they are willing to sale them at a lower price and receive a lower profit just to get big spenders in the store to splurge on other items. Personally, I think that Wal-Mart is masterful at marketing!

Morgan said...

While, perhaps Circuit City, and Best Buy really do offer better warranties, who's to say that their "high-end" products are really any better quality? Their tvs are made in the same country as the ones sold in Walmart, just like clothing sold at Abercrombie and Fith vs. Walmart. While Abercrombie charges upwards of $80 for a shirt made in Bangladesh, or China, so does Walmart, only at a fraction of the cost. I'm pretty sure that the huge differential in Abercrombie, and Walmarts' clothing prices has little to do with quality, and likewise with high-end products sold at Circuit City vs. Walmart.

Savannah said...

I think we are all on the same page. If I want to buy a high dollar item I won't go to Wal-Mart. It may cost more to go somewhere else but it will be worth it.

Dr. Tufte said...

This thread's pretty good - I don't have anything to add.