Exclusive interview: Walmart Senior Buyer John Prince
I called John Prince, the senior buyer at Walmart responsible for this pricing breakthrough, to learn more about their $8.88 LED light plus how they achieved this breakthrough. Here are the key points from this conversation:
Walmart is focused upon sustainability. Walmart believes that sustainability supports their ability to deliver everyday low prices. Their buyers like Prince are measured upon their ability to develop more sustainable but still price competitive products. Prince worked directly with a LED light manufacturer to create a 60 watt equivalent LED bulb at a breakthrough price below $10.
Walmart’s guarantee. This $8.88 LED light has a three-year warranty. But it is suppose to last 20 plus years. If you buy this light and it fails over the next 20 years John says “bring it back to Walmart.” They will stand behind this bulb. Offering this type of assurance is a proven business best practice for winning customers and growing sales for a new technology.
It’s just not price, its quality too. Prince was especially proud that Walmart’s $8.88 LED light offers a light quality (what he called “color temperatures”) comparable to equivalent incandescent lighting. What he and Walmart have achieved is a breakthrough low price on a quality product.
Big idea delivering big value. Walmart thinks big. They were instrumental in making CFLs a mass market light product and have sold over 100 million CFLs. They have similar big goals for selling LED lights. Prince projects a 300% increase in the sale of LED lights and envisions sales volumes similar to what Walmart achieved for CFLs.
No more excuses, buy LED lights, now!
There are no more excuses for the small business energy conscience to not install LED lights. Their prices are dropping to levels that create a superior financial return through energy savings. Where else can you put your money and earn a 66% annual return for 22 years? The light quality is a vast improvement compared to my experience with CFLs. And the light comes on with the flick of a switch compared to the delayed start-up of CFLs. With the type of life-of-bulb guaranties offered by Walmart what’s the risk? Go buy Walmart’s $8.88 LED light and make a difference in your pocket book and our environment.
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