October 22 – October 29, 2009 Edition

Amazon, Wal-Mart Battle for Holiday Book Sales

SEATTLE, WA/AUTHORLINK NEWS/10/22/09– and Wal-Mart are in the midst of a price war over hot books for the holidays, along with a host of other products. This month Wal-Mart cut the online price of ten popular books to $10. Amazon responded by dropping its price to $9, and Wal-Mart retaliated by cutting its price to $8.99.

According to the Wall Street Journal October 19, The battle has grown during the last year, as Amazon expanded into a general store with the acquisition of, a shoe and apparel retailer.

Wal-Mart retaliated by beginning to sell diapers and thousands of other health and beauty products online for home delivery. In September, Wal-Mart announced it would sell merchandise from other retailers on its web site in exchange for a share of the revenue.

The two are also sparring over shipping, with Wal-mart countering Amazon’s free shipping program and expanding its 97-cent shipping on many products, according to The Journal.

E-commerce currently comprises less than 5% of American retail spending, yet many industry experts believe it might soon grow to as much as 20% of the market., says The Journal. Amazon is also reportedly gearing up for a television advertising campaign during the holidays, something it hasn’t done in several years.

For now, Wal-Mart online sales of $1.7 billion lag far behind Amazon’s sales of $19 billion, the Journal reports. Wal-Mart disputes Internet Retailer’s figures which don’t account for merchandise bought online and picked up in stores.