Time to pitch local grocery chains Everywhere!

Time to pitch local grocery chains Everywhere!

Steve’s breakdown: Walmart is shooting commercials in 50 markets targeting local stores right now. We believe you can leverage this news to trigger many of them to act.

Fear is a great new business motivator.

EVERYWHERE, USA: Walmart takes aim at competing local grocery stores in a new price-comparison advertising campaign, but a Somerville consumer advocate warns such ads are “inherently deceptive.”

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant specifically targets Quincy-based Stop & Shop, showing how a shopper saved 14 percent at its Walpole store on items that she had purchased at a Stop & Shop in the same town.

Walmart launched the price-comparison campaign more than a year ago in Charlotte, N.C., and now is shooting commercials in some 50 markets across the country.

“We’ve had a lot of positive customer feedback, and we think that reflects how much customers appreciate learning about the price differences that exist in their communities and where they can find the most affordable prices,” spokesman Bill Wertz said.

In a TV commercial shot Tuesday in Walpole, shopper “Grey” from Wrentham, who was compensated for her appearance, saved a combined 14.3 percent, or $14.75, on 24 items, ranging from Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 oz.: $2.28 at Walmart and $3.04 at Stop & Shop) to Tide Clean Breeze Laundry Detergent (100 oz., 64 loads: $11.97 at Walmart and $14.49 at Stop & Shop). Some items were duplicates, but all except four were cheaper at Walmart, whose comparison excluded non-identical items and random-weight meat and produce on Grey’s original Stop & Shop receipt.

But Somerville consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky urges shoppers to “take such comparisons with a grain of salt,” noting they generally don’t include a big enough sample of random items to mimic the average consumer’s shopping experience.

“Do your own comparison for the items you buy,” said Dworsky, a former director of consumer education at the state Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and former state attorney general in consumer protection. “The best shopper is the ‘specials’ cherry picker. The one who buys the best sales items from a variety of stores is going to save the most. You cannot save the most just going to one store.”

Walmart’s campaign runs through Monday and includes print, radio, TV and online elements at www.walmart.com/boston.

A Stop & Shop spokeswoman said “we continually strive to bring our customers savings every day.” The chain offers weekly specials, “Real Deals” items on sale for multiple weeks and a gas rewards program. It also recently has provided clip coupons in its circulars, according to spokeswoman Suzi Robinson.


Type and press Enter to search