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Walmart marketing to reach unprecedented level this Christmas

There will be no escaping the long arm of Walmart’s marketing efforts this holiday season as the retail reminds shoppers it has the lowest prices on the broadest assortment of merchandise. Chief merchandising office Duncan Mac Naughton is making sure of that, and on Wednesday he outlined all of the ways the company plans to communicate with shoppers in the months ahead.

The onslaught has already begun with spots running for the company’s reinstated layaway program which begins Oct. 17. The ads (Click here and here to watch) position the program as shopper solution and are designed to build early season holiday traffic by reminding shoppers about a program that was popular with them before it was eliminated five years ago.

According to Mac Naughton, the layaway ads are one component of an aggressive television ad campaign that will see the company double its share of voice this season. In fact, he told those at the meeting if they don’t see Walmart commercials this season it will be because they aren’t watching television.

In addition to TV, the company plans seven tab advertisements, 10 free-standing inserts, a toy catalog, a holiday entertaining guide and apparel guide that will be distributed in stores.

“We are very excited and very well prepared,” Mac Naugton said in reference to the holidays. “Our marketing plan for the holidays is quite significant.”

Preparations have been underway for the past year as Mac Naughton, in his current role since January, and a restructured merchandising group restored 10,000 items to the product assortment, renewed the emphasis on in-store promotional displays so that shoppers who return to Walmart this holiday season will find compelling values on an expanded assortment. And if they like what they see but lack the funds to complete the transaction the convenience of layaway is available.