Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wal-Mart Canada Sets Precedent By Offering Halo 3 at U.S. Price

In a move that can be considered both strategic and smart, Wal-Mart Canada has decided to offer the highly-anticipated Xbox 360 video game Halo 3 at the same price that it will be offered in the U.S.: $59.83. This will be about $10 cheaper than other Canadian retailers will be charging: both Future Shop and EB Games are currently advertising the game for $69.99 (the limited edition for $79.99).

This move makes sense for any retailer given the current strength of the Canadian dollar (it's virtually on par with the U.S.!), but especially for Wal-Mart, which prides itself on always offering the lowest prices.

Wal-Mart says it will offer Halo 3, which is officially released tomorrow (Sept. 26), at that price for an "extended period".

"We've been negotiating with suppliers for more than one year, based on the belief that a high dollar and favourable business conditions should translate into lower prices for our customers," said Jim Thompson, Senior Vice President of Merchandise at Wal-Mart Canada.

Don't think that other retailers have just been standing by, though. Future Shop will be opening 103 of its 127 stores at midnight tonight in celebration of the game's launch so customers can "get it first", as the company's slogan goes.

Hmm...that's a tough one when it comes to hard-core gamers. Do they want to "get it first" or get it cheapest? My presumption is that the tried and true gamers will be hauling their butts to Future Shop tonight to grab the game before anyone else; while the budget-conscious parents and students (17 and older, of course, since the game is rated M for Mature), will stroll over to Wal-Mart at a later date for the cost savings.

Going forward, only time and sales will tell. But if our dollar keeps up, it will be interesting to see how pricing of CE/IT product changes, or fails to change, in Canada.

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