Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart will offer Toshiba’s HD-A2 HD-DVD player tomorrow for $98.97 as part of a “pre-Black Friday” promotion.
The price point represents a dramatic new low for Toshiba’s entry-level model, which was recently reduced to hit a suggested $250 retail and is currently being sold by Amazon.com, Circuit City and Costco for just under $200.
The HD-A2 is a closeout model that is being replaced by the more fully featured HD-A3.
Wal-Mart is also selling three HD-DVD titles for $14.96 as part of its one-day promotion.
Other CE specials include a 50-inch Sanyo plasma TV for $998 and an Acer laptop computer with 1GB of RAM for $348.
The items will only be available in stores, beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow, while supplies last.
Wal-Mart described its five “secret in-store specials” as among “the most sought-after gifts this season.” That four of the five doorbusters are CE products suggests that electronics will again be a major focus of the discounter’s holiday promotions.
Gary Severson, Wal-Mart’s entertainment and electronics VP, told analysts at an investors’ conference last week that “When you combine price leadership with [Tier 1] brands, good things happen.” As proof, he offered Wal-Mart’s 4.6 percent gain in CE comp sales over the past three months, which outpaced those of Best Buy (1.7 percent) and Circuit City (-8.0 percent).
“We’re winning here,” he said.
Wal-Mart says it will offer additional one-day specials throughout the season. Items will be revealed at www.walmart.com/secret, and customers can sign up to receive email and text message alerts.
The event is timed to the official opening of special in-store Christmas shops that will feature select holiday merchandise, including such CE fare as Nintendo Wii consoles and Guitar Hero III bundles.
The pre-Black Friday promotion is part of a holiday marketing campaign that emphasizes low prices and premium brands under the overarching theme “Save money, live better.”
One example of the strategy is a new TV spot that showcases the Toshiba HD DVD player, which a fictitious wife bought for her husband at “an incredible price, even for Wal-Mart.” Another ad notes that “Wal-Mart saves the average family $2,500 a year.” It then asks, “What will you do with your savings?”