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Wal-Mart kicks off toy price war
Report: No. 1 retailer slashes tags on popular and hard-to-find items, surprising Toys "R" Us.
November 19, 2003: 8:48 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting prices on a number of hot toys earlier in the holiday season than such sales are normally seen, according to a published report.

Hokey Pokey Elmo, which Wal-Mart is selling for less than wholesale cost  
Hokey Pokey Elmo, which Wal-Mart is selling for less than wholesale cost.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a survey conducted by Banc of America Securities found that Wal-Mart's prices of 15 popular toys were 12 percent lower than those of Toys "R" Us, the largest stand-alone toy retailer, and 8 percent lower than prices at discount retailer Target, the nation's No. 2 general retailer after Wal-Mart.

The Journal says that Toys "R" Us executives have acknowledged that the Wal-Mart price cutting has caught them somewhat by surprise and was among factors hurting its recently reported third-quarter results.

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The newspaper said the lower prices are even found on some toys in short supply, including Leap Frog's Explorer Globe. And it reported that some of Wal-Mart's retail prices are below wholesale prices. For instance, it is charging $29.74 for the Hot Wheels T-Wrecks Play Set, which has a wholesale price of $42, and $19.46 for the Sesame Street Hokey Pokey Elmo, whose wholesale price is $24.  Top of page




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