Recent smartphone apps (like RedLaser) allow people to scan a barcode, right in a retail store, and quickly see where they can find the item cheaper, often online. Retailers at B&M stores are understandably not thrilled with this trend.
Retailers Fight Back Against Price Apps – WSJ.com: The smartphone boom is unleashing a new era of pricing transparency to consumers able to use wireless apps and search engines on their mobile devices in stores to check if they are offering the best deal. But retailers are fighting back harder than ever to prevent their stores from becoming mere showrooms. More bricks-and-mortar stores are reviewing prices of online stores when setting initial price of an item. If prices are out of whack, they are more aggressively matching the prices of their online rivals. Some retailers are investing heavily in exclusive products that are less vulnerable to price competition.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, when looking at this issue said …
Retailers Fight Back Against Price Apps – WSJ.com: The use of such apps recently sparked a furor. After Amazon.com Inc. launched a promotion on Dec. 8 on its Price Check shopping app that gave customers 5%, or up to $5, on up to three qualifying items on its site if they checked the prices of those goods while browsing at a physical store, retail groups and politicians denounced the offer. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) called the promotion “anti-competitive” and “an attack on Main Street businesses that employ workers in our communities.”
1. Not only is this trend not “anti-competitive,” it’s the EXACT opposite of that. If anyone claims to be interested in competition and consumers, they should applaud this trend. Snowe is not just a little off here, she’s 180° off.
2. And don’t other online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and thousands of others also employee “Main Street” people in various communities all over? Are their employees less important for some reason?
Further evidence that we live in Orwellian times. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Competition is anti-competitive.