NEW YORK (Reuters)—Wal-Mart Stores Inc is cutting gasoline prices by 10 cents a gallon this summer for loyal U.S. customers who are still being crimped at the pump, even as gas prices have retreated from recent highs.
The discount, which runs from Wednesday through Sept. 30, applies only to drivers who pay with a Walmart gift card, Walmart MoneyCard or Walmart credit card.
The move comes just days before the Independence Day holiday weekend, typically a busy time on U.S. roads as people head to beaches and elsewhere to celebrate July 4th.
``Our customers have told us that high gas prices are a top budget concern, nearly as large an expense to their households as food and groceries,'' said Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn.
Gasoline prices have come down in recent weeks but are still much higher than they were a year ago. The average price for regular gasoline was $3.55 on June 28, down from $3.79 a month ago but still above the price of almost $2.76 a year earlier, according to AAA data. In July 2008, the average price hit an all-time high of $4.11.
Walmart, the largest U.S. retailer, is doing what it can to turn around two years of declining sales at its stores open at least a year. It aims to return to growth later this year.
List of local gas stations participating in the special:
GREENSBORO - 2107 PYRAMID VILLAGE BLVD.
WINSTON-SALEM - 3475 PARKWAY VILLAGE CT.
LEXINGTON - 160 LOWES BLVD.
THOMASVILLE - 1585 LIBERTY DR. STE 1
BURLINGTON - 530 S. GRAHAM-HOPEDALE RD.
MEBANE - 1318 MEBANE OAKS RD.
REIDSVILLE - 1624 NC #14 HIGHWAY
EDEN - 304 E. ARBOR LN.
MAYODAN - 6711 NC HIGHWAY 135
MOCKSVILLE - 261 COOPER CREEK DR.
BISCOE - 201 MONTGOMERY CROSSING
Walmart is not alone in trying to woo shoppers with lower-priced gasoline.
Chains including Kroger Co and Safeway Inc offer gasoline discounts to loyal patrons of their grocery stores. Warehouse clubs Costco Wholesale Corp , Wal-Mart's Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club Inc monitor prices at nearby stations and try to match or undercut them in order to bring drivers over to their pumps.
Stores often see shoppers buy at the pump and visit stores in the same trip. Around 30 percent of Costco's members buy gas and shop in the clubs on the same day, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said last month.
Walmart said its offer applies to anyone, not just patrons of its discount stores. Still, drivers must pay with one of the Walmart-branded cards in order to receive the discount.
Walmart has more than 1,000 Walmart and Murphy USA stations at its supercenters. Over 800 stations in 18 states are participating in this ``rollback'' program, the company said.