Are Walgreen’s Missing Sale Signs Misleading Consumers?

Has it happened to you?  You see something you need on sale in the circular or online, but when you get to the store, there’s no sale sign.  You ask yourself, “Is this really on sale?” Maybe you track down one of the already overworked associates for a price check; maybe you play register roulette and see which price you’ll get when the item rings up; or maybe you just walk away empty handed.

Not On Sale at WalgreensAccording to the findings of the new report Off Balance, Walgreens shoppers are running into this problem at nearly every store.  Ninety-four percent of the 200 stores surveyed had inventory not marked as on sale during all three survey visits made by researchers. A full 25 percent of sale items in the survey weren’t labeled as on sale across all visits. Researchers looked for a basket of roughly two dozen food, over-the-counter medicine, personal care and household products advertised in that week’s store circular.

A missing sale sign not only creates confusion in the aisles, but it also means that we may be losing out on some good deals.  How many times do you pick up an item you need because you see a sale tag on the shelf?  If you’re like most consumers, the answer is a lot.

Research shows that in-aisle advertising of sale prices is a primary reason customers make on the spot decisions to purchase an item.  So Walgreen’s missing sale signs could mean that it’s missing sales. What do you think?