Wal-Mart announces sharp toy price cuts

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has announced it would further lower its prices on toys for this Christmas, effective immediately.

The company has vowed it would be the price leader this holiday season when it comes to selling toys.

Wal-Mart will be slashing prices on select toys such as Buzz Lightyear action figures by up to 30-percent, followed with more price cuts to up to 100 additional toys.

The company said it would offer a group of new and popular toys each week for only $10 each. Today marks the second week of specials. Wal-Mart will offer the deeply discounted products all the way up to Christmas Day, until supplies last, in both Canada and the United States in every store.

The deep discounts could prove damaging to toy sales in the future (especially for stores who can’t offer such low prices) as consumers could continue to expect the lowered prices.

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Best Buy launches program to offer new games at used prices

The biggest US-based consumer electronics retailer, BestBuy, has begun rolling out a new program that could dramatically change the video game industry.

The company has launched a new initiative that now lets gamers trade in their used console games in return for in-store credits.

The company has started off the program with kiosks inside stores in a small beta market near Salt Lake City, Utah, but is expected to quickly expand the program starting in the US and later in Canada.

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Wal-Mart set to update privacy policy to address newer channels

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has unveiled today a new and more comprehensive consumer privacy policy set to take effect on August 23, 2009.

The company is updating the policy to better outline terms on newer channels such as electronic marketing, including SMS, and data collection and sharing.

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Wal-Mart Paid $2B in Bonuses, Continues Strong Growth

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has released new annual bonus figures today. Wal-Mart said it paid out about $2 billion to its U.S. hourly employees through various financial incentives, which included $933.6 million in cash bonuses, $788.8 million in profit sharing, merchandise discounts, 401(k) contributions, employee stock options, among other incentives.

Last year, Wal-Mart handed out $1.2 billion in financial bonuses. Read the full story

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Wal-Mart Posts Good Q4, Annual Results

Still the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has just announced good Q4 earnings, even though net income is down from $4.01 billion Q4 2007 to $3.79. However, sales were very strong in Q4. “Wal-Mart recorded the strongest sales result in its history in the fourth quarter, with 108 billion dollars in sales,” said Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke. Net sales were up 1.7% from $106.20 billion YoY in the same period. For 2008, net income was up 5% to $13.4 billion, from $12.73 billion in 2007.

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Wal-Mart Reports Strong January Sales

Wal-Mart continues to perform well. The company just reported [PDF] stronger than expected January store sales, up 2.1% from 2007 to $27.742 billion (Wal-Mart US accounted for $17.964, Sam’s Club $3.131, International $6.647) thanks to stronger food sales. Wal-Mart also said it would stop reporting monthly store sales and instead report 4 times per year.

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The Hudson’s Bay to Cut 1,000 Jobs

The Hudson’s Bay has announce cost cutting moves amid the financial crisis, which includes cutting 1,000 jobs, about 5% of the company’s full time employee headcount. The company says it should save about US $120 million in 2009 moving forward. The Hudson’s Bay has more than 600 retail stores and owns chains including Zellers, Home Outfitters, and obviously, The Bay. The Bay has been hit hard as the store sells higher end pricey goods, while Zellers faces increased competition from Wal-Mart. The Hudson’s Bay was acquired by NRDC Equity Partners (US based) in July 2008.

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CD Sales down 20% in 2008

According to Nielsen SoundScan, physical CD sales are down 20% to 360.6 million discs in 2008 year over year. The drop marks an 8th consequitive fall in CD sales. Wal-mart remains the largest retailer in terms of CDs sold, with iTunes right behind. The drop in CD sales can be attributed to piracy and the convenience of online music shops such as iTunes.

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Wal-Mart to Sell iPhone End of December

apple Wal Mart to Sell iPhone End of DecemberWal-Mart has just announced it will begin selling the Apple iPhone in nearly all of Wal-Mart’s 2,800 stores beginning this Sunday December 28. The 8GB version will sell for $197, while the 16GB model will sell for $297 on new two-year agreements with AT&T. Wal-Mart has also said it will beat any competitors price on the iPhone. The cheapest price you can now get an iPhone is from AT&T for $99 (ref) until the end of December.

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Wal-Mart to Settle 63 Labour Suits for up to $640M

Wal-Mart has announced today it will settle 63 labour lawsuits against the company to the tune of $352-$640 million. The charges will be representative in Q4 statements. Wal-Mart says most of these suits were filed years ago and are simply not representative of the company today, or an indication of any wrong doing. Wal-Mart has been accused of forcing employees to work through breaks, among other labour related violations. Wal-Mart more recently settled a 10 year old labour action for $54.25 million which alleged the company cut employee and worker break times in Minnesota. Wal-Mart, who is the world’s biggest retailer, continues to perform well against other retailers during this tuff economic period.

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