UPDATED at 4:10 p.m. with more details about Schnucks' complaints
Schnucks is crying foul play over ads that Walmart ran over the holidays that compared the prices of specific products between the two chains.
Lori Willis, a Schnucks spokeswoman, said in an email that the grocery chain believes the ads "were unfair and misleading."
The grocer says that the ads compare a "non-random and extremely limited selection of products," and noted that meat and produce were excluded from the comparisons. It also says that the ads did not take into account additional savings available at Schnucks through special offers and double and triple coupon offers.
The blog Coupons in the News reported this week that Schnucks had filed complaints about the ads, including with the Walmart itself.
A spokesman for the Illinois Attorney General's Office confirmed to the Post-Dispatch that it has received a complaint by Schnucks about the ads, too.
Walmart's "market basket challenge" campaign, which ran in a number of cities, compared the retail giant's prices on specific items to other competitors. One of the ads that ran in the St. Louis area showed a woman saving 20 percent on items at Walmart, compared to the price of those same items at Schnucks, according to the blog.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of retailers such as Toys R Us and Best Buy have filed complaints about these ads by Walmart for a variety of reasons, including giving inaccurate prices and comparing different products.
Walmart has defended the ads as being legal, ethical, and methodologically sound.
"We know competitors don’t like it when we tell folks to compare prices and see for themselves but we think consumers deserve every chance to find value," Steve Restivo, a Walmart spokesman said in an email.
For its part, Schnucks' Willis had this to say: "We are confident that most shoppers will understand that Walmart targeted Schnucks because we are such a strong competitor."