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Amazon beats Wal-Mart on toy prices as holiday season begins

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:26 a.m.

Amazon.com Inc. has cheaper online prices for toys than Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and other major chains as parents begin shopping for the holidays, according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis.

In a comparison of 125 randomly selected toys conducted on Nov. 8, Amazon had lower prices than Wal-Mart on 44 percent of the items, while Wal-Mart had the advantage on 13 percent. The remaining items had the same price tag. Wal-Mart beat Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp.'s Kmart chain and Toys “R” Us Inc. on more than 80 percent of the toys, according to a report led by Poonam Goyal, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.

“Toys are important because they are the top category for the holiday — along with electronics — and are the most competitive,” Goyal said in a telephone interview.

Amazon's lead was a surprise because Wal-Mart led in last year's pricing study for much of the holiday season, Goyal said.

Amazon had the advantage on items such as the limited-edition version of “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City,” a video game for the PlayStation 3 that it priced at $20.98, compared with $39.96 at Wal-Mart.

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