Will WalMart’s New Strategy Increase or Decrease Revenues?

In an effort to offer more health-conscious options to its shoppers, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) announced Wednesday that it will give a 5 percent discount on groceries, including fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, to shoppers who are covered by its partner, health insurer Humana (NYSE:HUM).

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A statement issued by the retailer said the program will be available to all shoppers who are covered by Humana insurance and enroll for its HumanaVitality health program.

This is not Wal-Mart’s first attempt to help its customers eat better. At the beginning of last year, the company launched an initiative with First Lady Michelle Obama to develop packaged foods with less sugar, sodium and fat content than its traditional products. Wal-Mart then labeled such items with a “Great For You” icon so shoppers could identify the healthier options. In Wednesday’s statement, the company cited research, which found cost deterred shoppers from purchasing healthier groceries, as a motive behind the partnership.

To enroll in the program, which begins October 15, Humana members will receive a membership card that gives the shopper a 5 percent credit from the cost of healty groceries to put towards their next purchase. Items that qualify for the discount are those marked with the “Great For You” label.

According to the companies, more than 1 million members are eligible for the program. Wal-Mart’s traffic, however, numbers 200 million shoppers per week worldwide.

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