Wal-Mart chops prices on hot electronics

Initiates second round of deep price cuts on flatscreen TVs and other gadgets ahead of crucial holiday season.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Flustered by its weak sales performance last month, Wal-Mart initiated a second round of deep price cuts Friday, this time on more than 100 flatscreen TVs and other hot electronic products.

Wal-Mart (Charts), the world's largest retailer, said the rollbacks will take effect this month and through December, and will include significant savings on high definition (HD) televisions, digital cameras and cell phones.

In early October, the company cut prices on more than 80 of the year's hottest toys.

Among the newly discounted products are the Panasonic 42-inch HD plasma now being offered for $1,294 from an original price of $1,794 and a Polaroid 37-inch LCD HDTV now priced at $997 from an earlier price of $1,297.

The retailer also cut the price of a Kodak C875 digital camera to $249.64 from an earlier $298.77. It's also rolling back prices on pre-paid phones such as the Cingular C139 model.

"We've lowered prices so that families can afford to get and give more of the best brands and technology in electronics this season," Gary Severson, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Wal-Mart's electronics division, said in a statement.

However, some analysts speculate that Wal-Mart and other discount chains such as Target (Charts) and Costco (Charts), spooked by weaker-than-expected sales gains last month, have little choice but to engage in a heavy price war over the next two months.

That's because the November-December period is the most critical shopping time of the year, accounting for more than 50 percent of retailer's profits and sales.

Let the price wars begin Top of page

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