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Wal-Mart Starts "Aggressive" Back-to-School Discount Plan

NEW YORK (AP) -

The price cuts, which range from ten percent to 50 percent, will be backed by a new ad campaign on how to save money as gas prices
remain high and kids head back to school.

A spokeswoman for the Arkansas-based company says the cuts are deeper and involve even more items than in the year-ago period and top the eleven-thousand items discounted right before last year's holiday season kicked off.

Wal-Mart has been playing up its low prices since late last year after getting hurt by a focus on trendy merchandise in an effort to get affluent customers to buy more than just groceries.

While the upscale strategy worked in electronics, it failed in home furnishings and apparel, resulting in sluggish sales since last fall.

So far this fiscal year, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has averaged a same-store sales gain of a meager one percent, compared to rival Target's four-point-one percent increase.

Same-store sales are sales at stores open at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.

Wal-Mart operates more than 100 stores across Alabama.

Meanwhile, Alabama, Georgia and Florida are also doing their part to keep prices down for back-to-school shoppers.

Tax Free Holidays
Alabama: Friday August 3, 2007 -- Sunday August 5, 2007
Georgia: August 2nd- 5th
Florida: August 4th-- 13th

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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