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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Walmart Watch: Business strategy or PR?

Could this be the first salvo from Wal-Mart's new high-powered PR "War Room" staff? Have they reasoned that if America's elites bond with the retailer they may get more support or at least less criticism? If so, this may be a brilliant strategy. Watch out Target.

Wal-Mart Targeting Upscale Shoppers
By DAVID KOENIG AP Business Writer

PLANO, Texas (AP) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has overcome its rural roots and downscale image to attract affluent shoppers, but executives admit that many of those well-heeled consumers come only for cheap groceries and steer clear of the other merchandise.

In its boldest effort yet to target upscale shoppers, the nation's largest retailer is opening a new store this week with an expanded selection of high-end electronics, more fine jewelry, hundreds of types of wine ranging up to $500 a bottle, and even a sushi bar.

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