Wal-Mart Amps up Holiday Inventory in Bid to Boost Sales

Wal-Mart is betting that the promise of items being in-stock will attract customers during this crucial shopping season

By Nathan Layne, Reuters

Nov. 17, 2015Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it significantly boosted its holiday inventory for electronics, toys and other potentially popular products, betting that the promise of being in-stock will attract customers during this crucial shopping season.

Wal-Mart could use the boost: Margins at the retailer, due to report fiscal third-quarter earnings soon, have come under pressure due to costs related to entry-level wages, investments in e-commerce and competition from Amazon.com, as well as regional supermarkets and dollar stores.

"We bought really deep. It's our commitment that we are going to have product and that is one of our key advantages," Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, told reporters at a store in Secaucus, NJ, as he outlined plans for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the year-end shopping season.

The retailer also plans to offer online 96 percent of Black Friday deals available in store, up from 90 percent last year.

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