The rivalry between Wal-Mart and Amazon is getting nasty.
After Amazon announced it would have a Black-Friday-style sale for Prime members on July 15, Wal-Mart countered by offering its own shopping event — starting on the same day — with thousands of online-exclusive discounts.
In announcing its sale, Wal-Mart chided Amazon for making "Prime Day" available only to Prime members, who pay $99 a year for free two-day shipping and other perks.
"We've heard some retailers are charging $100 to get access to a sale," Walmart.com CEO Fernando Madeira wrote in a blog post. "But the idea of asking customers to pay extra in order to save money just doesn’t add up for us. We're standing up for our customers and everyone else who sees no rhyme or reason for paying a premium to save."
Amazon has fired back, accusing Wal-Mart of charging customers higher prices in stores than they do online.
"We’ve heard some retailers are charging higher prices for items in their physical stores than they do for the same items online," Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said in a statement. "The idea of charging your in-store customers more than your online customers doesn’t add up for us, but it's a good reminder that you're usually better off shopping online."
Greeley also pointed out that customers who aren't Prime members can, in fact, shop Amazon's sale by signing up for a free 30-day trial of Prime membership.
Wal-Mart denies Greeley's claims. The company says on its website that it will match the lowest prices between its website and physical stores.
"We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it," the company says.
Store managers have final discretion, however, on whether the store will match an online price, according to the website.
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