[NEW YORK] Wal-Mart Stores announced plans on Monday for a massive sale timed to compete with a big Amazon promotion, as the two retail giants escalate a battle for American consumers.
The sale on Walmart.com will offer lower prices on 2,000 products, cut the threshold for free shipping to US$35 from US$50 and offer the discounts for 90 days, because "we've always believed in giving customers low prices every day," a spokesman said.
Wal-Mart will launch the sale on July 15, the same day as the "Prime Day," when Amazon plans a huge number of one-day-only deals to members of its US$99 "Prime" subscription service.
Amazon has said its Prime sale will have "more deals than Black Friday," the November post-Thanksgiving sale day for retailers across the country.
But Walmart played up its counter-attack.
"We've heard some retailers are charging US$100 to get access to a sale," said Walmart.com chief executive Fernando Madeira.
"But the idea of asking customers to pay extra in order to save money just doesn't add up for us." On Monday, Amazon fired back, mocking Walmart for the disparity in prices between goods sold online and in stores.
"We've heard some retailers are charging higher prices for items in their physical stores than they do for the same items online, Greg Greeley, vice-president of Amazon Prime, told Bloomberg.
"The idea of charging your in-store customers more than your online customers doesn't add up for us."