WMT to Offer Black Friday Deals in Advance

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Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMTAnalyst Report) is leaving no stone unturned to attract holiday shoppers as it gears up to launch a pre-Black Friday savings event in stores and online from Nov 22, one week ahead of the traditional start.

Accordingly, Walmart has slashed the prices of toys and electronics from key rivals like Target Corp (TGTAnalyst Report) and Best Buy Inc (BBYAnalyst Report) to match the deals offered by other retailers for Thanksgiving (Nov 28) and Black Friday (Nov 29).

In order to be competitive in this tough retail environment, Walmart has also decided to extend its Christmas Ad Match to its online customers, earlier offered only at its stores. This will entitle customers to a gift card if they find the same product at another retailer at a cheaper price. The gift card will be worth the difference amount. The same policy is in place for customers at Walmart stores for items purchased from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, excluding Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

We note that the company has been struggling of late due to a tough economy and delivered poor results over the last three quarters of fiscal 2014. In its recently concluded third quarter of fiscal 2014, Walmart beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings but missed the same for revenues due to a gloomy consumer spending environment globally. Walmart also narrowed its earnings expectations for fiscal 2014. The latest move by Walmart to kick off its holiday shopping season is expected to prove beneficial for the company.

Other Stocks to Consider

Walmart carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another retailer worth considering is Kroger Co (KRAnalyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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