Nov. 27 - Wal-Mart is tweaking its holiday strategy this year- using new ways to lure in customers and secure their spot as the top retailer. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The signs are up, the decorations are out- and the staff is ready for what they call their Super Bowl - Black Friday time at Wal-Mart. Fernando Reyes manages the Porter Ranch store in California: SOUNDBITE: FERNANDO REYES, WAL-MART PORTER RANCH STORE MANAGER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We have a lot of hot items this year. I'll give you some examples: we have a 32-inch TV for $98. We have a 16-GB iPad for $299 and it also comes with a $100 gift card. We have a 60-inch Vizio TV for $688." So the hard sell is on- but the battle for the holiday shopper's wallet will be fierce. Morningstar's Ken Perkins: SOUNDBITE: KEN PERKINS, EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Getting people into the stores matters, particularly when you have competition from online and other competitors and things like electronics. It's very difficult and Wal-Mart is going to have to be as aggressive as ever to do that this holiday season." The in-store experience works for customers like Aracely Price: SOUNDBITE: ARACELY PRICE, WAL-MART SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well, if I go into the store I don't have to pay for shipping, but if you do do it online, I do it for Wal-Mart as well and it's convenient as well but I like to come into the store so I can take a look at the product and feel the feel of the product as well." Wal-Mart's attack plan includes freeing their customers from lines to get hot items- so they can go get more stuff. SOUNDBITE: FERNANDO REYES, WAL-MART PORTER RANCH STORE MANAGER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The customer will enter the building into the line and upon doing that they will receive a wristband that will look something like this. Once you receive that wristband you are free to leave the line and go do additional shopping throughout the store." And hopefully see better prices than the competition. SOUNDBITE: FRANCIS PALOMADO JR., WAL-MART SHOPPER, SAYING: "I've seen the Nikon D5100 at Best Buy is 6-something but it's on sale too. But here it's $498 for the bundle of Nikon D5100. It's like a $200 difference; it's a very good price." And they are also capitalizing on what worked last year: SOUNDBITE: KEN PERKINS, EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think the things like one hour price guarantees are good. The company trialed about three products last year and they have upped it by seven times to have about 20 products this year, and those sort of things, anywhere from TV's to mini iPads, are things that consumers really want. And if they feel that they are getting the best price for it, that gets people into Wal-Mart stores." And like the competition, they are not waiting for game day. There has been unprecedented price cutting at the top discounter even ahead of the holiday.