Wal-Mart website glitch gave shoppers super bargains, temporarily

Reuters

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Shoppers looking for a bargain got somebig ones, if only temporarily, at Walmart.com Wednesday morning.

A technical glitch on the Wal-Mart Stores Inc U.S.website offered some items at a fraction of their actual retailprice.

Treadmills, which normally cost hundreds of dollars, werepriced at $33.16. LCD computer monitors were offered for $9.

Ravi Jariwala, a spokesman for Walmart.com, said in the lateafternoon that the problem had been fixed and that themistakenly priced orders would not be honored.

"Given the wide discrepancy in pricing, we are notifyingcustomers who ordered these items that their orders have beencanceled and that they'll be refunded in full," Jariwala said inan e-mail. Walmart.com will also offer those shoppers a $10 giftcard.

The company did not say how many orders were placed at thelow prices. Most of the affected products were electronics, saidJariwala, adding that the website was not available at times onWednesday while repairs were made.

The glitch comes at the start of what analysts say will be aparticularly competitive holiday season.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc kicked off its online holiday-seasondeals on Nov. 1, a month earlier than usual. The earlier dealsand bigger incentives come after data firm ShopperTrak forecastthe slowest holiday sales growth since 2009.

"This is particularly disappointing since Wal-Mart has beeninvesting aggressively in e-commerce in the last two years,"said Brian Sozzi, CEO & Chief Equities Strategist at BelusCapital Advisors.

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