What is Walmart Rollback?

Last Updated on 08/10/2021 by GS Staff

One of the many things that bring people to Walmart is the retailer’s low prices. In comparison to many other similar stores, Walmart prices are tough to beat, on average. These low prices are one of the primary reasons why Walmart has become such a success through the years. With over 10,500 retail units and 2.3 million associates across the globe, Walmart is unquestionably the largest retailer in the world by raking in over $559 billion in revenues for the fiscal year 2021.

Walmart Rollback program contributes greatly to maintaining the company’s low prices. Below we will explain exactly what is Rollback at Walmart. This information could potentially help save you money.

What is Rollback at Walmart?

Credit: Mike Mozart/flickr

As most people recognize, inflation and other factors contribute to overall price increases over time. An item marked as a “Rollback” signifies that the product has been marked to a lower price. In other words, the merchandise has been marked down to a lower price that it once had in the past. For example, say a 2-liter of Coke is regularly priced at $1.50 per bottle. Now assume that Walmart announces a sale on Coke and temporarily reduces its price to $1.00 as a “Rollback”. This is essentially what a rollback at Walmart is in a nutshell.

Why Does Walmart Do Rollbacks?

Rollbacks are a way for Walmart to reduce inventory at a quicker pace. This is particularly true for merchandise that is overstocked or not selling at the retailer’s desired pace. The temporary price reductions typically last around 90 days or a bit more and are essentially Walmart’s way of placing items on sale.

These rollbacks are used as a way to draw customers to stores with the promise of low prices. While Walmart does not always have an expansive product selection and the amenities of several of its competitors, its ability to offer value is one of the primary reasons customers keep coming back.

Are RollBack Prices Really a Good Deal?

Okay, most people recognize that a sale is not always a sale. While any given store can place an item on sale, it doesn’t mean that the sales price is a bargain. In other words, a store can place an item on sale and it still can be cheaper elsewhere despite not being on sale there.

Given the above, we decided to see if Walmart’s Rollback prices were actually superb or potentially just a marketing tactic to make shoppers think they are getting a good deal.

The table below shows a comparison of Walmart’s rollback prices of random items versus other stores that sell the same products. In bold are the prices that are the lowest price for each product. While Walmart’s Rollback prices are not always the lowest when compared to its competitors, its prices are certainly in the top tier of being the lowest overall out of all stores featured below.

Sunkist Orange (2-liter)Chips Ahoy! (18.2 oz.)Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna In Water (5 oz.)Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Pieces, Honey Mustard & Onion (12 oz.)Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce (40 oz.)
Walmart (Rollback Prices Shown)$1.00$3.00$0.87$2.50$3.54
HEB$1.71$3.09not available$3.07$3.07
Meijer$1.99$3.00not available$2.50$3.59
Weis$1.79$3.99$1.00not available$3.75
Wegmans$1.89$3.29$0.99$3.29not available
Food 4 Less$1.69$2.99$0.69$3.99$2.99
King Soopers$1.99$3.99$0.79$3.99$4.49
Price Chopper$1.39$4.99$1.39$3.99$4.19

Final Thoughts

Shopping Walmart’s rollback items is generally a good way to save money on merchandise that is commonly more expensive at many other stores. However, as the table above shows, products that are a part of Walmart’s rollback pricing are not necessarily the cheapest available near you. If you are on a budget and/or keen on shopping for the lowest prices, don’t assume rollback prices are the best available. Be sure to shop around at places like Food 4 Less or Meijer (if near you) for the best deals.

Featured Image Credit – Mike Mozart/flickr