Wal-Mart Cutting Prices Up To 30 Percent

Wal-Mart Stores said it is cutting prices on "thousands" of items by 10 percent to 30 percent this week to win sales in a difficult economic environment.

Steven Senne

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman did not have an exact figure on the number of items included in the price cuts but said the world's largest retailer was reducing prices on groceries, popular electronics and other items that shoppers might buy ahead of the Super Bowl football championship game Sunday.

Wal-Mart typically announces widespread price cuts during the ultra-competitive holiday shopping season.

But 2008 U.S. retail sales are forecast to rise at their slowest pace in six years, and retailers are trying to lure shoppers into their stores to spend their limited budgets.

Consumers, however, remain reluctant to spend. U.S. chain store sales fell 1.2 percent for the week ended Jan. 26, compared with the prior week, the International Council of Shopping Centers and UBS Securities said on Tuesday.

"The consumer is not motivated to shop and spend this January -- aside from necessities -- and the sales performance has reflected just that," Michael Niemira, ICSC's chief economist, said in a statement.

To boost sales, Wal-Mart is emphasizing low prices and has rolled out an extensive advertising campaign built around a new slogan, "Save Money. Live Better."

As part of the latest price cuts, Wal-Mart said it was offering a Vizio 32-inch LCD television for $597; two 12-inch DiGiorno pizzas for $9, and two bags of Doritos for $6.

Wal-Mart also said it is charging no interest for 18 months on purchases of $250 or more with a Wal-Mart credit card.