Wal-Mart Plans Lower, Low Prices for the Holidays
By George Anderson
Lee Scott is serious about slashing prices and driving consumers into Wal-Mart’s stores and onto its Web site this holiday season.
In a presentation at Prudential Equity Group’s consumer conference, Mr. Scott launched the opening salvo for the upcoming holiday season promising to lower prices to a point that consumers will not be able to pass up.
“We were extraordinarily aggressive,” he said. “I think it sets the tone for what the holiday is going to be like. We are going to be very aggressive.”
Last year, Wal-Mart’s early holiday season performance was off as competitors focused on discounting high profile products to draw traffic during the Black Friday weekend. Some criticized Wal-Mart for sacrificing revenues and share by not holding to the company’s traditional across-the-board low price strategy.
Bill Dreher, retail analyst with Deutsche Bank, told Reuters, “They’ve learned the lessons from last year and are intent upon not repeating the same mistakes.”
This year’s approach for the chain, said Mr. Dreher, is “going to be a combination of sharp pricing and cool new gifts, particularly electronics.”
Wal-Mart’s approach to the holiday season should be extremely worrisome to retailers who cater to lower-income consumers or those who focus primarily on price to attract shoppers, said Mr. Dreher.
Moderator’s Comment: How do you see the competitive market shaping up this holiday season? –
George Anderson – Moderator