Wal-Mart sees holiday spirit in opening prices

November 2003
Home Textiles Today;11/10/2003, Vol. 25 Issue 11, p2
Trade Publication
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. believes opening price points will be the pre-eminent sales driver for the fourth quarter 2003 holiday season and sales gains will come largely because of easier comparisons against 2002. According to Jay Fitzsimmons, senior vice president, finance and treasurer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., they are looking at opening price points to take a bigger percentage of total sales. While retailers commonly compare selling days to forecast the critical selling period, Fitzsimmons argued that the formula is faulty. He told attendees at Lehman Brothers' Retail Field Trip that consumers will not buy bigger gifts because the season is longer. Seasonal categories provide better sense, but are not worth focusing on. It is noted that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently launched a heavy television ad campaign for toys featuring a gingerbread character. Fitzsimmons predicted that the season will be more competitive with retailers going after share.


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