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Walmart to offer banking services June 15 in Canada

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has announced it would launch a bank in Canada on June 15 after the U.S.-based retail giant received regulatory approval in Canada.

Walmart firstly applied with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), among other regulatory bodies, to offer financial services including interest-earning deposits in Canada almost two years ago.

Walmart’s business model has always been to offer lower prices compared to its competitors by moving more volume.

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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.

Wal-Mart has been able to do this given strong growth despite a global economic downturn. Same-store sales were up 3.3% in the last fiscal year ending Jan 31, 2009. Total sales during that same period were up significantly by 7.2% to $401.24 billion.

More and more people are going to Wal-Mart today to save on purchases given massive job losses and high mortgage payments that become due. Wal-Mart said today it plans to further cut prices including specifically on glasses and contact lenses, among other merchandise.

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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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