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Wal-Mart chops prices again

Discounter cuts prices on 15,000 more products this week, including toys and kitchen appliances.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wal-Mart, increasingly eager to grab as many early holiday sales as it can, announced a second round of price cuts on 15,000 items on Thursday.

On Oct. 1, the world's largest discounter set the ball rolling on holiday price wars by setting deep discounts on some popular toys for the year-end gift-buying race.

Among the new discounts, Wal-Mart said it is slashing prices this week on the Fisher Price Smart Cycle to $89.88 from $99.88, assorted "Be Bratz" Dolls to $19.93 from $29.94, the Black & Decker 12 Cup Digital Coffee Maker to $24.96 from $29.92, GE 1.1 cubic foot microwave to $59.96 from $64.72 and the Black & Decker 4-slice toaster to $24.88 from $29.97.

"In an effort to help stretch the dollar, we're giving customers an early start on holiday savings with even more targeted price cuts to come," Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The company said this year it will increase total holiday discounts 20 percent more than last year, adding that consumers can expect more discounts on electronics, home, food, and toys in the days ahead.

To be sure, Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500) and other retailers are nervous about the upcoming crucial holiday shopping months.

Typically, November and December account for as much as 50 percent of retailers' annual profits and sales.

But the National Retail Federation (NCR) estimates that total holiday sales this year will grow just 4 percent, weaker than last year's 4.6 percent increase, as many more Americans struggle with less discretionary income tied to a housing slowdown and credit market crunch.  Top of page