Dick’s Sporting Goods on Monday launched an expanded price-match policy that matches nearly all competitor’s online and offline prices, including Amazon, Wal-Mart and vendor websites

“If you find a lower price, we’ll match it,” the retailer promises on its website. “The DICK’S Sporting Goods Best Price Guarantee means we won’t be beat by a qualifying retailer’s price offered in their store or on their website. You’ll always get the lowest price and collect SCORECARD points on the biggest brands and latest styles. So now you can worry less about the price of the gear you love and spend more time enjoying it.”

The site lists Amazon and Wal-Mart as its first two “qualifying retailers” under the price-match guarantee. The list also includes Cabela’s, Nike, Kohl’s, Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops, Under Armour, Adidas, Foot Locker, Macy’s, Fanatics, Target, Sportsman Warehouse, Edwin Watts, Finish Line, Dunham’s, Champs, Nordstrom, Hibbett, Scheels, Big 5 and PGA Superstores.

The guarantee also covers “your local retailer.” A local retailer is one located in the same market area (within a 25-mile radius) of a local Dick’s store. A local retailer for Dicks.com purchases is a retail store authorized by a vendor to sell a new, factory-sealed product with a warranty and is located in the same market area (within a 25-mile radius) as either the billing address or the shipping address on record for the purchase.

The price match guarantee does not cover warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club.

As far as what qualifies, the item must be “identical,” including the same brand, same model number and same color. Certain exemptions include sales key holiday selling promotions. Dick’s writes, “There are some products or purchases that are not eligible, such as markdowns during Thanksgiving and Cyber Week or special daily and hourly sales. But we keep those exclusions limited to help everyone afford to play sports.”

The guarantee only covers specific items. As an example, Dick’s writes, “DICK’S will price match retailers’ coupons and promotions related to specific brands or products. For example, we will match 25% off Columbia jackets at Academy Sports. We will not match a retailer’s site-wide promotions such as 25% off all purchases.”

To get the lower price matched in stores, customers are encouraged to present the qualifying retailer’s ad or website to a Dick’s in-store associate at the register. Online, price match requests are handled via phone.

The price match period is also covered for 14 days post purchase if a better deal is found.

The “Best Price Guarantee” replaces a “Winning Price Guarantee” that only matches local dealers and didn’t match online.

Dick’s wrote about the Winning Price Guarantee program, “If you find a lower price on an identical item (brand and model number) currently available for sale at a local retail store, we will match it. Just bring in the retailer’s ad at the time of purchase. We will not price match rebates, coupons, bonus offers, including BOGO offers, free offers, and gift card offers, clearance, including closeouts and used items, limited-quantity or out of stock items, prices advertised only as a percent off or dollar off, services or another retailer’s pricing error. We reserve the right to verify a retailer’s price and the availability of the item.”

In a note about the new program, Jonathan Komp, an analyst at RW Baird, said he viewed Dick’s new program as a “rational response” to an expanded distribution channel marked by the arrival of new entrants such as Amazon, including Nike’s move to sell directly on Amazon; competition against vendors selling direct; and greater competition from off-pricers, marked by Under Armour’s recent move to Kohl’s.

Komp wrote, “In this environment, we believe Dick’s new expanded policy will provide further incentive for other retailers to avoid overly aggressive discounts (seemingly demonstrated by other industries such as home improvement, electronics), while allowing Dick’s to stay focused on differentiating its experience/offering with a premium assortment from the brands.”

Photo courtesy Dick’s Sporting Goods