Walmart Inc. has entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with the State of Colorado, following allegations that the retail giant violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) due to pricing inaccuracies between the in-store shelf price and the point of sale register price. The agreement was reached under the Attorney General’s powers and represents a complete settlement between the State and Walmart.
The State alleged that Walmart’s pricing system, which involves electronic price changes at the point of sale and manual updates on shelves, can lead to price inaccuracies. High employee turnover, labor shortages, and rapid inflation were also cited as factors contributing to the problem. The State’s Department of Agriculture conducted 17 separate inspections at Walmart stores between March and July 2022, with Walmart failing 9 of these inspections.
In response to the allegations, Walmart has implemented new controls to promote pricing accuracy. These include enhanced training for store associates, requiring associates to be physically present in the aisle where a price change is being made, and limiting the number of labels associates can print at a time. Walmart also announced a partnership with Vusion to deploy electronic shelf pricing technology in stores across the country.
Despite denying the allegations, Walmart has agreed to continue implementing policies and processes that promote timely replacement of shelf labels in stores. The company will also provide a clear notice at the point of sale about customers’ ability to request a price override to have the shelf label price honored.
As part of the agreement, Walmart will pay the State of Colorado three million dollars ($3,000,000) within thirty days. The funds will be used for reimbursement of the State’s actual costs and attorneys’ fees, the payment of restitution, and for future consumer fraud or antitrust enforcement, consumer education, or public welfare purposes.
The agreement applies only to Walmart stores located in Colorado and does not include Sam’s Club locations. The obligations of the agreement will be in effect beginning ninety days after the effective date of the Assurance.