Walmart Hi-Def Sale a Flop

I went to check out those “Secret in-Store” sales items that Walmart promoted on their site for today. They advertised a Sanyo 50″ plasma for $998, a Toshiba HD-A2 for $98, and HD DVD movies for $14.96.

First of all, they didn’t even have the Toshiba HD DVD player. They didn’t have ANY hi-def players. I asked if they were going to get some in for the sale. They didn’t know, and the manager was hard to find.

The Sanyo 50″ plasma, while normally priced at $1297, was not such a bad deal at $998. Is this the best plasma out there? Hell No! But for someone who wants big, and has a budget, this non-1080p flat screen might not be too bad. Problem is, they only had 2 in boxes, and one floor model. Huh?

Now let me tell you I got excited about the HD DVDs. $15 bucks for a hi-def disc is about as cheap as you can get them. But their selection was grim. They had a total of 3 titles. They had a module that was scheduled to be set up, but wasn’t up yet. Was there a library of HD DVD titles just sitting in the back room?

I think Walmart forgot to tell their store managers about this secret Friday sale. Maybe if they did they would have had the products in-stock and visible.

The funniest part about checking out HDTVs at Walmart was that they were not displaying hi-def images. I peeked under some fake snow decoration that was hiding the video source to find that a row of HDTVs were being fed by one standard-definition cheapo DVD player. Now that’s how you sell hi-def Walmart! Good for you!

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

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