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Wal-Mart Drops Prices on More than 16,000 Products

Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, said Monday it will launch an aggressive new discounting program focused on back-to-school items in a move to combat the effect of high gas prices on customers' spending volume.

Starting this week, Wal-Mart will lower prices on more than 16,000 products across all stores, in conjunction with a new ad campaign on how to save money as gas prices remain high and kids head back to school.

The company said families with school-age children are expected to spend an average of $563 this year on back-to-school supplies, according to July 2007 survey data from BIGresearch.

Under Wal-Mart's new pricing plan, $1 will be able to buy 4 wide ruled notebooks, 2 bottles Elmer's glue (4 oz.) and a 24-pack of crayons. A $50 budget will be able to purchase a week's worth of school clothes, and $80 will buy two pair of prescription glasses at the Wal-Mart Vision Center.

"We'll provide families savings where it counts, and continue to work closely with key suppliers, reduce packaging and lower shipping costs as we steer this program through fall and beyond," said Bill Simon, chief operating officer, Wal-Mart Stores U.S.