Wal-Mart outdiscounts Amazon and retailers
Effect of online price war could have wide impact
By By Ashley M. Heher, Associated Press, Saturday, October 17, 2009
CHICAGO — Taking a page from its original playbook, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a full-fledged price war with Amazon.com Inc. and a nation of book retailers, lowering online prices on certain highly anticipated hardback titles to $9.
The volley of discounts, which began Thursday when the retailer listed prices for some upcoming hardcover releases such as Dean Koontz’ “Breathless” and Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” at $10, was answered with a similar price cut by Amazon, the largest online bookseller. Then the two competitors lowered the prices even further to $9.
The book discounts, the latest in a series of aggressive online maneuvers by the world’s largest retailer, could position the company to do to the online marketplace what Walmart stores did to local merchants decades ago.