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VOL. 128 | NO. 227 | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wal-Mart Ups Price Matching Before Holiday Start

ANNE D'INNOCENZIO | AP Retail Writer

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NEW YORK (AP)Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it's matching the Black Friday prices on a total of 100 toys and electronics from key rivals one week ahead of the traditional start.

The world's largest retailer said Tuesday it will be unveiling a pre-Black Friday savings event in stores and online at 8 a.m. on Friday, lowering the prices on select popular products such as Leapfrog Enterprises Inc.'s LeapPad 2, Mattel's Hot Wheels cars and LG 50-inch TVs to match offers available for Thanksgiving or the following day from Target, Toys R Us and Best Buy. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., says it plans to lower LeapPad 2 products to $39.99 from $79 on Friday, while LG 50-inch HDTVs will be lowered to $448, from $598.

Wal-Mart's latest moves to up its game for the holiday shopping season come as the discounter sees its customers continue to struggle in a tough economy. It's also facing tough competition. Last week, it cut its annual profit outlook for the second time in three months and gave fourth-quarter guidance that was below Wall Street expectations.

Wal-Mart, like other retailers, is gearing up for what's expected to be a fiercely competitive holiday shopping season. The company brought back its holiday layaway program and pulled up some online deals reserved for Thanksgiving weekend, having them start Nov. 1 instead. It plans to launch blockbuster deals earlier into Thanksgiving night from a year ago. It will be starting the deals at 6 p.m., two hours earlier than last year.

Beginning Tuesday, Wal-Mart said it will also extend its Christmas ad match to Walmart.com customers. Customers who buy an item on the website and find a lower price at a local store rival can email christmasadmatch@walmart.com and receive the difference on a gift card. The same policy is in place for customers at Wal-Mart stores for products purchased Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, excluding Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 218 10,440
MORTGAGES 91 293 13,620
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 25 68 2,712
BUILDING PERMITS 0 393 24,700
BANKRUPTCIES 62 184 10,076
BUSINESS LICENSES 25 62 3,798
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 90 338 14,895
MARRIAGE LICENSES 10 68 3,235

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