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Friday, October 16, 2009

Walmart Vs Amazon Price War - Over Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue

Wall Street Journal:
"Walmart launched a brash price war against Inc. on Thursday, saying it would sell 10 hotly anticipated new books for just $10 apiece through its online site.  That was just the beginning.

Hours later, Amazon matched the $10 price, squaring off in a battle for low-price and e-commerce leadership heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart soon fired back with a promise to drop its prices to $9 by Friday morning -- and made good on that vow by early evening Thursday."

The splashy move to discount pre-orders of popular books such as Stephen King's "Under the Dome" and Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" was part of a larger strategy to establish as the biggest and cheapest online retailer.

"If there is going to be a 'Wal-Mart of the Web,' it is going to be," said CEO Raul Vazquez in an interview. "Our goal is to be the biggest and most visited retail Web site."

Wal-Mart's $10 promotion applies to the top 10 books coming out in November but the company is also selling 200 best-sellers for 50% of their list price.

Dean Koontz, whose soon-to-be released novel "Breathless" is being discounted to $10 from $28, said that he thinks the discounting may prove a good thing for the authors involved.

"Any time people are fighting over your work it's a good thing, especially when you've worked all those years hoping it would be fought over," he said. "I don't think this is going to be a long-term thing. Rather, it sounds like a promotional strategy designed to call attention to Wal-Mart's decision to enter the digital marketplace more heartily than in the past."

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