Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores on Monday launched the first salvo in the holiday price wars. Starting this week, the company will announce price cuts each week on its “Top 12 Toys of Christmas.” Industry reports say Wal-Mart will slash prices by 10% to 50% on select toy items.
“We’re starting early and aggressively with unbeatable prices on the items we know are on [childrens’] lists,” Wal-Mart’s chief toy officer Laura Phillips, said in a statement.
The retailer said it will announce new discounts every week through the holiday shopping season.
Last week, Lowe’s Cos. Inc. issued an earnings warning, while Target Corp. slashed its September sales forecast, fueling concerns that the holiday shopping season will be one of the weakest in years.
The National Retail Federation has already forecast that U.S. holiday sales will rise at their slowest pace in five years.
The price cuts also come after millions of toys bearing the “Made in China” label were recalled in recent months mainly due to unsafe levels of lead paint. Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.
Wal-Mart has already asked its suppliers to resubmit testing documentation for the toys it sells in its stores and has hired independent laboratories to conduct an average of 200 additional tests each day. It also is looking to stock its shelves with more products made closer to home.