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Walmart’s CE Plans Target Entire Industry

NEW YORK — No more Mr.
Nice Guy.

That seems to be the message
from Walmart to the
consumer electronics industry,
which last Thursday
revealed its plans to dramatically
upgrade its CE lineup.

Walmart, rarely No. 2 in
anything, has been a perennial
in that spot on the
TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers
Report trailing Best Buy. Today’s
report continues that
streak. The discount chain
had $18.5 billion in sales in
2009, slightly more than half
of Best Buy’s CE volume.

Walmart’s plans not only
target Best Buy but CE retailers
of all stripes, including
the rest of the Top 100.

Higher-priced CE has always
been a challenge for
Walmart, as an analysis by
CBS Money Watch recently

Of course, part of the plan
will be price “Rollbacks and
Special Values” on selected
brands. But the “connected
living room” will play
a key role with more streaming
Blu-ray players, IPTVs,
full-array backlit LED TVs
and wireless. There will also
be more mobile broadband,
more smartphones, among
other products and services.

Next year’s Top 100 will show
whether Walmart’s strategy is
a winner. Our Walmart Special
Report in our June 7 issue
will detail the retail giant’s
current plans.