Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The rebates are coming! The rebates are coming!


walmartt.jpgCheck out those federal rebate checks.
Tax rebates began arriving in U.S. consumers’ bank accounts this week as part of Washington’s $152 billion stimulus package.  (Direct deposits this week and paper checks next week.)

Retailers have various strategies for attracting those rebate dollars. Many of them are offering 10 percent bonuses when the checks are converted to store discounts.

Then there is Wal-Mart, which will cash the checks for free. That’s it. Cashing the checks for free. No bonus, like Kroger or Supervalu are offering. Just cashing the checks for free.

Of course, unlike other retailers, Wal-Mart will cash the checks free without requiring a purchase in the store. Obviously, if you have to put the funds from your rebate onto a Kroger or RadioShack gift card, you would spend the money in those stores.

Cheap groceries? Survey finds Wal-Mart is top of mind


walshop.jpgEquity analysts at Citigroup Global Markets decided to conduct a survey to figure out how consumers are making their grocery shopping choices in the current environment. 

Not very surprisingly, it found that consumers are becoming more value conscious and will likely favor retailers with sharp pricing.