The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 1, 2013

Wal-Mart kicks off holiday shopping season online

NEW YORK —

Wal-Mart is upping the ante on holiday shopping.

The world's largest retailer is pulling forward by nearly a month seven big deals on items like TVs and tablets that were originally reserved for the day after Thanksgiving and so-called Cyber Monday.

Shoppers will be able to purchase the items online starting shortly after midnight tonight. At the same time, Walmart.com will be pushing another 300 holiday deals on its website, from toys to home decor.

The seven deals include a 42-inch JVC LED TV for $299, a savings of 36 percent, and a 10-inch XELIO tablet for $49, a 51 percent discount. The items will be available while supplies last. Last year, Wal-Mart offered about 100 holiday deals online right after Halloween, but the offerings were focused on home decor.

"It's been a tough year for the average American family," Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Wal-Mart.com, told The Associated Press. "It's our job to be able to help our customers."

He said Wal-Mart decided to accelerate offering the seven deals a month ago. Wal-Mart declined to say whether it would be repeating the discounts during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Anderson noted that on top of economic challenges, there are loyal Walmart shoppers who want to be able to shop for bargains early. Last year, Wal-Mart saw traffic on its website surge right after Halloween, he noted.

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