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Wal-Mart Promos HD DVD Player At $99

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, 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, 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?”