Wal-Mart Steps Up Its Game in Electronics Aisle

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is revamping the electronics departments in its more than 3,500 U.S. stores this week, ramping up an aggressive battle with Best Buy Co. and to seize customers up for grabs due to the demise of Circuit City Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart's roomier and more interactive electronics displays begin arriving in stores Monday, showcasing the latest mobile phones and portable computers, and including standalone sections for popular brands such as Nintendo Co. and Apple Inc.

"Circuit City's business is up for grabs right now and we expect to get our share," Gary Severson, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of home entertainment, said in an interview at the company's Bentonville, Ark. headquarters. Its push comes as the economic downturn has turned more affluent customers into Wal-Mart shoppers.

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