Thursday, 6 November 2008

Wal-Mart will cut prices every week until Christmas

Wal-Mart Stores Inc will be introducing new rounds of price cuts every week until Christmas as the world's largest retailer reaches out and appeals to cash-strapped shoppers looking to stretch their holiday budgets.

As part of what it is calling "Operation Main Street," Wal-Mart will be slashing prices on thousands of items that it says are "vital" to the holiday season, like food and toys.

The move will build on price cuts the discount retailer implemented in October when it offered 10 popular toys for $10 each. "It's very much along those same lines, only it takes the intensity up massively," Stephen Quinn, Wal-Mart's chief marketing officer, told Reuters, referring to the new price cuts.

Wal-Mart's sales have been outperforming many of its competitors this year as US shoppers, pressured by high food and fuel prices, declining home values, extremely tight credit, and a weak jobs market, flock to its stores in search of bargains.

At its analyst meeting last week, Chief Executive Officer Lee Scott stressed that "Christmas will come on Dec 25" despite the economy and said that Wal-Mart will have the best prices in the market for the holiday season.

Quinn said Wal-Mart has surveyed moms to find out how they are planning to shop over the next eight weeks, from getting their homes set for the holidays, to buying food for Thanksgiving dinner, to purchasing gifts.

Wal-Mart will offer price cuts on merchandise that coordinates with those shopping patterns. "Clearly, this economy has made things tougher for moms and those who are planning budgets for families," he said. "They've never planned more than they are planning now. They feel like they have to manage the budget."

Shoppers can sign up on Wal-Mart's Website,, to receive alerts on their mobile phones outlining the weekly price reductions. "These mobile messages are going to be very relevant to the exact time period you're in," Quinn said.

Quinn said Wal-Mart has worked with its suppliers to ensure it has adequate supply of the products it will be promoting. The retailer will be touting its low prices in ads on TV, its Website, on the radio and in newspaper circulars. "We've got more marketing support than we've ever had to make sure people are really are aware of all the values that we have to offer," Quinn said.

Source: EconomicTimes

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