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Online price wars hurt small business

Joel Rose Nov 25, 2009
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Online price wars hurt small business

Joel Rose Nov 25, 2009
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Retailers are doing everything they can to part us with our cash this year. Amazon and Wal-Mart are locked in a massive price war. Which is good news for shoppers, but bad news for business. Joel Rose reports.


Joel Rose: The online price war started earlier this year with books. Wal-Mart dropped its prices to $9 for some popular hardback titles. Amazon went to $8.99. And every other bookstore went into shock. Now, Wal-Mart and Amazon and sparring over the price of DVDs, toys and electronics.

Wendy Liebman: For both of them, it is really about the future of shopping. And it’s about the new shoppers who are going to come along, and for whom, you know, online is just second nature.

Wendy Liebman is CEO of WSL Strategic Retail. She says Wal-Mart and Amazon both want a bigger share of the growing e-commerce market. Liebmam says the price war could help both companies gain market share — at the expense of everyone else.

Liebman: You kind of come to a point where you’ve got major companies, major brands, big retailers still standing.

And a lot of smaller retailers out of business.

I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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