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Wal-Mart to expand $10 price deals to 100 toys

The lower prices are expected to hit store shelves today as the retailer vies for holiday-season shoppers' dollars. The move comes after last year's successful '10 for $10' program.

September 30, 2009|Andrea Chang

After the success of its "10 for $10" toy program last year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its lineup of $10 toys for the holiday season to more than 100 items.

The move, which is expected to be announced today, is the latest in an increasingly heated holiday toy battle as retailers race to attract frugal shoppers.

Wal-Mart said it had worked with its suppliers over the last year to offer an assortment of top brands, classic toys and newly released items for $10, including Barbie dolls and Transformers action figures.

"This year it's bigger, it's better," Laura Phillips, vice president of toys for the company's U.S. division, said in an interview. "It's about the wish list for the kids, and we know these price points help parents deliver."

The Bentonville, Ark., discount giant said the $10 deals would last through Christmas. Some of the toys feature markdowns of as much as 50% off the chain's regular prices.

With consumers indicating that they will still spend carefully this holiday season, toy makers, manufacturers and retailers are doing everything they can to bring prices down, said Adrienne Citrin, a spokeswoman for the Toy Industry Assn.

"Introducing a high-ticket item in this economy when retail spending is down is going to be harder to sell," she said.

This month, Toys R Us Inc. announced that it would open about 350 Holiday Express toy locations nationwide. The retailer, which also released a Holiday Hot Toy List featuring 36 of the hottest products for the shopping season, said the toy shops would offer dolls, action figures and educational games.

On Tuesday, Kmart announced its first-ever Fab 15 toy list and encouraged parents to use the retailer's layaway program to help budget during the holidays.

Retailers are "going into this holiday season with a different mind-set than they had a year ago," said Sean McGowan, a toy analyst at Needham & Co. "No surprise that everyone's gearing up for a very tough battle."

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andrea.chang@latimes.com

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