BENTONVILLE, Ark., February 11, 2008 –One week before U.S. households receive the first of thousands of $40 digital converter box coupons, Wal-Mart is stocked and ready with these small converter box units designed to keep home analog TVs receiving a digital signal. Today 3,400 Wal-Mart stores carry a new Magnavox digital converter box, with a retail price of $49.87.
The Nielsen Company estimates that 13 million households (12 percent) will be impacted by the switch to digital broadcast, so the nation’s largest retailer has made specific plans to help customers from all cities and towns make an informed decision.
“Due to our many locations, we expect the majority of customers will come to us for making their digital transition plan, both for convenience and price,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president of Home Entertainment, Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. “We’ve prepared for many months to ensure the coupon process will go smoothly, and will work with suppliers to continue to have available, affordable options in our stores for all customers.”
In addition to close counsel and preparations with the NTIA (National Telecomunications and Information Association), Wal-Mart developed additional training for its associates and created a new platform for registers, so the $40 coupon card will work as easily as a gift card.
Wal-Mart now has the following digital television transition options available today in it stores:
• Purchase a digital converter box for $49.87 (with coupon, $9.87*)
Digital converter boxes receive over-the-air digital TV broadcasts for viewing on TVs that do not have built-in digital tuners. Those looking to keep watching on their current analog TV sets must purchase a digital converter box. Wal-Mart stores nationwide will offer a Magnavox unit and add a new brand in the coming months.
• Sign up for cable or satellite service, right in the store
Customers can sign up for cable or satellite service at Wal-Mart stores for their current home TV or with the purchase of a new TV through in-store “kiosks” with the help of a Wal-Mart associate. Shoppers are able to view local service provider packages, with next day service available in most locations.
• Purchase a digital or HDTV television
Wal-Mart carries more than 40 types of digital TV and HDTVs across its stores, from $150 to $2,100* if customers choose to replace their TV. Over the last year, Wal-Mart has continued to increase its assortments and carries brands as well as training and in-store communication about digital TV selection and options.
*Prices may vary with tax. Converter boxes available while supplies last.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.