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Wal-Mart electronics have room to beep

Wal-Mart employee Michelle Triplett stocks items in the food area of a Wal-Mart in Chicago

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: There is another retailer making some waves, and it probably won't surprise you that it's Wal-Mart. The company seems to be outperforming almost everyone these days. And now it's looking for an electronics in, starting today. Here's Marketplace's Janet Babin from North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: Wal-Mart began to expand its electronics department a few years ago, with upscale flatscreen TVs from Sony and Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal reports the retailer is going one step further, with new electronics displays that feature popular brands like Nintendo and Apple. Stores will also allow consumers to try out PCs and notebooks that Wal-Mart used to keep under lock and key.

Walter Todd's a portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital. He says the electronics market is wide open now that Circuit City has folded:

Walter Todd: Certainly Best Buy will get their fair share of that but I think Wal-Mart correctly anticipates that they can also pick up some biz from the closure of that store, so I think it's a good strategy.

The new gadgets will likely appeal to customers who are trading down to Wal-Mart since the recession. Todd says it's become hip to shop wherever you can save money.

Wal-Mart's move is already sparking price wars on some products.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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