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Economic downturn likely to affect Christmas shopping – Walmart
Oct '08
In 3,500 stores across the U.S, Walmart reduced prices on some of the most popular toys, signaling its determination to be America's price leader this Christmas. And over the next 10 days the retailer will fast track the opening of Christmas shops in stores nationwide.

And Walmart's moves are right on the mark, a new survey shows. Consumers said they will start their Christmas shopping earlier and make other changes to help stretch their holiday cash.

"As consumers face higher prices for energy, a credit crunch and food inflation, we're working to provide low prices on both everyday needs and on things people want so they can live better," said John Fleming, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

"Consumers know we've been on their side all year with great brands, every day low prices and our Rollback program. And this Christmas will be no different."

The 2008 Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey, conducted on behalf of Walmart, was designed to learn what's on America's Christmas list this year, and what the gift buying priorities are for this coming Christmas season.

In addition, this survey measures how the recent economic downturn may affect things ranging from how much consumers will spend on gifts, whom Americans will be shopping for, to how much people plan to give in charitable donations during the holiday season. It also measures attitudes of the much talked about Walmart mom.

The survey finds more than one-third of Americans buy gifts for their children first. Walmart has identified 10 popular toys, priced each at $10, to help parents get a head start.

The toys are:
• Barbie and her dog, Tanner
• Barbie Mariposa (a beautiful butterfly-winged Barbie)
• Play-Doh Ice Cream Shop
• Assorted Littlest Pet Shop VIPs
• Hot Wheels Trick Tracks
• Hot Wheels Beast Bash
• Fur Real Newborn Animals
• Tonka Light and Sound Vehicles
• Doll Stroller
• Backugan by Spinmaster

In addition to these great values, Walmart.com is currently accepting pre-orders for the highly-anticipated release of Elmo Live. The latest Elmo will be available in-stores and online on October 14, but customers can reserve their Elmo

Throughout the season, Walmart.com will offer free shipping with Site to Store on thousands of toys.

Walmart Garden Centers will become the destination for all things Christmas, including trees, tree ornaments and decor; indoor and outdoor string lights; and additional outdoor decor.

Customers will find amazing values, including $5 ornament value packs offering a choice of 24 small, six medium or two large ornaments in 11 beautiful colors.

Walmart's decision to focus on price and bring Christmas to life early is reinforced by the Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey.

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