Walmart Lowers Prices, Extends Shipping Deadlines for Holiday Shoppers
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
December 15 2011 04:47 PM ET
With millions of Americans yet to start shopping for holiday gifts, Walmart will make a big push Saturday (Dec. 17), offering what it says are the “lowest prices of the season.” The retailer also has extended its deadlines for shoppers who want purchases shipped home in time for Christmas.
According to a survey from the National Retail Federation, the average American has completed less than half of his or her holiday shopping, and nearly 17 percent — 37 million people — have not even started. The survey found most people will wrap up their lists a week before Christmas. Nearly one-third (32 percent) said they will buy their last gift before Sunday (Dec. 18), while 10.9 percent plan to wait and finish their shopping Christmas Eve. (If you’re planning on shopping at Walmart, stores are scheduled to close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 and stay closed Christmas Day.)
Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Walmart’s “BIG Christmas Event” will offer the retailer's lowest prices of the season on merchandise including electronics, according to a company statement. For instance, a 32-inch Vizio LED HDTV will sell for $298 ($100 savings), and a Vizio 3D Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi for $98 ($60 savings). Selected video games for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PS3 have been reduced to $39.96. High-ticket games usually sell for between $50 and $60 at Walmart.
Walmart also offers a price match program through the holidays. “If customers find a lower price in a local competitor’s ad for the same product – even after the purchase – Walmart will refund the difference with a Walmart gift card,” Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said.
Walmart.com has extending its shipping deadlines by a day for holiday delivery. Customers can order products online until 11:30 p.m. PDT on Dec. 20 (2:30 a.m. EDT Dec. 21) and receive standard shipping to their homes in time for Christmas. Purchases $45 and more qualify for free shipping. Rush shipping to homes is available until 11:30 p.m. PDT on Dec. 21.