Walmart welcomes back an old friend

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is bringing back an old icon. The "Smiley" face will soon appear on flyers and in-store signage once again.

The symbol was first introduced in 1990, and was widely used to call out price cuts (rollbacks) on items. This latest version will now be used to represent all low prices at Walmart.

"Just as the smiley face has long been a symbol of happiness, Walmart has long been known for low prices. Reuniting the two makes sense," noted Chief Marketing Office Tony Rogers in a blog post. 

"You've heard us talk a lot recently about the importance of leading on price. Low prices have always been our key differentiator and we have an unwavering commitment to providing our customers with low prices every day. As we were thinking through how to communicate our low prices to customers, we felt like it was time to bring back an old friend, and one of the most-recognized symbols of low prices … Smiley."

Company research showed that nearly 70 percent of shoppers still associate the symbol with savings, even though it hasn't been used in a decade. The company will soon be incorporating Smiley back into ads as well.

It's all part of Walmart's plan to get back to basics as it closes down efforts to develop new formats and focuses on the core business of being the low-price leader among big-box stores. The retailer has begun to phase out price matching as it invests in lowering prices across the chain, and is bringing back greeters at many stores.

For more:
- see this Walmart blog post