VOL. 128 | NO. 227 | Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Wal-Mart Ups Price Matching Before Holiday Start
ANNE D'INNOCENZIO | AP Retail Writer
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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