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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 50 299 14,717
MORTGAGES 59 436 19,330
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 91 3,796
BUILDING PERMITS 135 697 35,330
BANKRUPTCIES 58 306 14,034
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 87 5,013
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 121 483 21,433
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 104 4,557

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