Wal-Mart in partnership with Facebook

Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday it will launch a “My Local Walmart” Facebook application, which will allow the retailer's approximately nine million Facebook fans to follow what is happening at their local stores. The partnership is the first of its kind for a retailer and shows how companies are using the popular social networking site to connect more immediately to shoppers in an attempt to gain their loyalty.

The new Facebook application will provide locally relevant information on everything from new products and sales information, to details on in-store events. It covers about 3,500 Walmart stores will send alerts to the company's Facebook fans about new products and discounts, the companies said.

"Our innovative approach with Facebook allows us to bridge the gap between local and social, giving millions of customers the personalized shopping experience they expect from Walmart," said Stephen Quinn, executive VP and CMO at Walmart U.S.

In a Monday media call, Quinn said the Facebook app addresses the retailer’s ‘next-generation’ customers who are heavy social media users. He also said the launch is just the start of the company’s ‘social media revolution.’

Facebook fans of Walmart who sign up to the new page will get about two messages a week from their local store at first, Quinn said, and alerts may be triggered by local events such as a high school football game or inclement weather.

The application also will have a role in this year's holiday shopping season, especially on the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers line up early for deals, he added.

Users will access the "My Local Walmart" page by visiting facebook.com/Walmart, then clicking on the "My Local Walmart" tab.

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