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Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to reduce prices throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to reduce prices throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to reduce prices throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to reduce prices throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to reduce prices throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to slash prices slightly throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is hoping the same storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to slash prices slightly throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced hundreds of stores to close. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart and offer their own promotions on home improvement merchandise, which has high profit margins.

“This is trying to get growth,” said Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. “The early bird catches the worm.”

Johnson, from Customer Growth Partners, said Wal-Mart is taking a page from Home Depot, which has been offering a similar sales event for years each spring.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s, the nation’s two largest home-improvement chains, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s move. But Amanda Manna, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, said: “Our expertise in home improvement allows us to serve customers as a partner throughout an entire home improvement project, from inspiration to completion.”

In the past, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., typically offered discounts on outdoor items or offered some special buys throughout the season. This sale, which ends next Saturday, marks the first time it has pulled the items together to kick off a spring sale, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart said the spring sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

During the height of the winter weather, Wal-Mart closed more than 200 stores. And Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores posted a 0.4 percent decline in revenue at stores opened at least a year for the fourth quarter, which encompasses the winter months.

As a result of the more severe weather, Wal-Mart said it bought pallets more of mulch, barbecue grills, patio furniture and other items, though it declined to give specific quantities.

Among the items that will be on sale: a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper. Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Home at Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping to shake off the winter sales doldrums with its biggest spring sales push ever.

The world’s largest retailer is discounting more than 60 outdoor essentials from lawn mowers to mulch by 30 percent to 50 percent in a push that aims to take business from competitors like Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos.

The sale starts Friday and will run through March 29. Items include a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper.

Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each. The event will be advertised in a 12-page Sunday circular.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., says the sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

Wal-Mart is counting on an extra boost in sales from items like garden soil as shoppers prepare to restore their gardens and outdoor living spaces hurt by a series of winter storms.

Wal-Mart and other retailers have seen their sales chilled by storms that caused them to close hundreds of stores and kept shoppers at home. The discounter said in February that during the height of winter storms, it had more than 200 stores closed.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Michelle Gloeckler, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of home, described the sales event as offering Black Friday-like prices.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” she said. She noted that Wal-Mart dramatically increased the quantities of items such as mulch and other outdoor products, in anticipation of increased customer demand. She declined to offer figures.

Wal-Mart’s lawn and garden offerings, including plants, are also tailored to the climates of each region. For example, customers in southern markets such as Dallas and Atlanta will find warmer-season plants including petunias and marigolds. Shoppers in northern markets like Chicago and New York will find cold-tolerant varieties such as pansies and snapdragons.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping to shake off the winter sales doldrums with its biggest spring sales push ever.

The world’s largest retailer is discounting more than 60 outdoor essentials from lawn mowers to mulch by 30 percent to 50 percent in a push that aims to take business from competitors like Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos.

The sale starts Friday and will run through March 29. Items include a seven piece-Mainstays patio furniture set for $298, $15 stacking sling chairs, $88 Kingsford charcoal grills and $144 lawnmowers from brands like Murray and Snapper.

Shoppers can also find five bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil for $10 and bags of mulch for $1.97 each. The event will be advertised in a 12-page Sunday circular.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., says the sale was planned last summer as executives received forecasts that the winter was going to be especially harsh. But the company made changes since then because the winter was even more severe than expected.

Wal-Mart is counting on an extra boost in sales from items like garden soil as shoppers prepare to restore their gardens and outdoor living spaces hurt by a series of winter storms.

Wal-Mart and other retailers have seen their sales chilled by storms that caused them to close hundreds of stores and kept shoppers at home. The discounter said in February that during the height of winter storms, it had more than 200 stores closed.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Michelle Gloeckler, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of home, described the sales event as offering Black Friday-like prices.

“I love the fact that we had a rough winter because people are going to be so ready,” she said. She noted that Wal-Mart dramatically increased the quantities of items such as mulch and other outdoor products, in anticipation of increased customer demand. She declined to offer figures.

Wal-Mart’s lawn and garden offerings, including plants, are also tailored to the climates of each region. For example, customers in southern markets such as Dallas and Atlanta will find warmer-season plants including petunias and marigolds. Shoppers in northern markets like Chicago and New York will find cold-tolerant varieties such as pansies and snapdragons.

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at -http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio