Wal-Mart's Super Bowl 'Stimulus Plan'
Wal-Mart Stores has a Super Bowl blitz of its own: the world's biggest retailer said it is slashing prices of thousands of items that football fans might want ahead of the hotly-awaited Giants-Patriots game.
CNBC's Margaret Brennan notes that consumers are projected to fork over some $9.5 billion for Super Bowl-oriented goods over coming days -- and Wal-Mart wants a piece of that.
The discounts will apply to items ranging from snack chips and frozen pizzas all the way up to giant flat-screen TVs.
The sheer array of discounted items speaks to Wal-Mart's struggles with rivals across the retail landscape: Target , BJ's Wholesale Club and Costco Wholesale for household/personal items and food and beverages; Best Buy and Circuit City Stores for consumer electronics.
Brennan adds that it's no coincidence that the discount news came hot on the heels of the U.S. government's stimulus plan announcement: Wal-Mart's customer base, largely low- to middle-income shoppers, is comprised of the same demographic who will benefit most from the planned tax rebates.
"We all know economic times are tough so our plan is to help with added savings throughout the year, focusing especially on what people want, when they need it," John Fleming, chief merchandising officer at Wal-Mart said in a statement.
"Shoppers are depending on us to deliver the best price so they can stick to their plans, no matter what the economy throws at us. We won't let them down."
Adrianne Shapira, retail analyst at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC that Wal-Mart's plan "makes a tremendous amount of sense. ...As we roll forward through the year, if [Wal-Mart] is loud in its message today, it'll pay off in the back half."