The battle for consumers' holiday spending dollars is heating up. Wal-Mart
According to The Wall Street Journal, about 60,000 items from Wal-Mart's online store will be eligible for free shipping during the holiday season. Shoppers will be able to take advantage of the offer without add-ons like minimum cart sizes or subscription services such as Amazon.com's
However, the deal really only represents about one-fourth of the merchandise offered on its website. Apple's
Offering free shipping does help the discount giant respond to traditional rivals such as Target
When retailers sweeten the deal to lure shoppers, cash-strapped consumers benefit most. The price wars are a brutal slog for retail rivals, though, resulting in margin-busting rebuttals to try to bring in shoppers and drive additional sales. Wal-Mart's trying to stay competitive in this tough shopping season, but the Bentonville behemoth might make more of an impact if it bit the bullet, lifted the restrictions, and offered free shipping on everything it sells.
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