Wal-Mart ups price wars for back-to-school season

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is intensifying the price game for the crucial back-to-school shopping season.

The world's largest retailer has cut prices on 10 percent on more back-to-school items compared with last year, signaling that the second-most important shopping season behind the winter holidays will be fiercely competitive. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer also said that it's increasing the number of back-to-school products sold on its website by 30 percent to 75,000 this year from last year.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Steve Bratspies, executive vice president, general merchandise at Wal-Mart, said he's seeing back-to-school promotions start early this year. He expects that its low-income shoppers will stagger their buying throughout the season, a trend it has seen in the last few years.

A little over 300 back-to-school items will have what Wal-Mart refers to as "rollbacks" or discounts.

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