By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY
Wal-Mart (WMT) hopes to reboot the retail market for computers Sunday by selling beefy laptops for less than you’d pay for a pint-size Netbook.
The retail giant is stepping up its campaign to become a more prominent PC retailer, a move that could accelerate a broader trend toward lower computer prices.
“Other retailers will be watching closely to see if they need to respond by dropping prices for comparable products,” says David Daoud, IDC tech industry researcher. “It could potentially trigger a price war.”
Wal-Mart recently renovated PC displays in 1,200 of its 3,600 stores to make them easier to navigate — more like Best Buy (BBY) than, well, Wal-Mart. It plans to refurbish more stores, broaden product selection and do a series of rock-bottom-pricing promotions.
“We believe we can move the needle for us as a laptop destination,” says Gary Severson, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president for entertainment.