Wal-Mart Plays Hardball With Peers -- Is Amazon Next?

By now, consumers have come to expect cutthroat prices from the shelves of Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  )  -- but since when could they turn to it for high-tech innovation?

In short: Since now. After a period of testing in a select few markets, the nation's most notorious big-box retailer is now rolling out a public-facing shopping application, called "Savings Catcher," across both desktop and mobile devices.

Based around the goal of letting its customers know that they are getting the absolute best price possible, the app cross-references the price of a purchased product with its price at other retailers -- notably, Target and Walgreen. If it discovers that the item could indeed have been purchased at a lower price, the customer is automatically refunded the difference in store credit.

In terms of its competitive edge over other physical retailers, this could well be a boon for Sam Walton's storied brand. But as Lyons George, tech analyst for The Motley Fool, explains below, this high-tech roll-out still fails to address the elephant in the retail world's room:

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8/31/2015 1:48 PM
WMT $64.80 Down -0.15 -0.22%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***