Wal-Mart's 100,000 Flat Screen Plans

There's just something about being a $338 billion retail chain that casts huge significance over even trivial moves. When the world's largest retailer moves into pharamacy sales, it quickly becomes the largest pharmacy. It starts to do some grocery and it quickly dominates a third of all grocery sales.

So it is with Wal-Mart's in-house video system. It's just a system to broadcast ads to store visitors, but as IHL Consulting Group President Greg Buzek has said, "it has a bigger audience than any TV show." This week, that "tv show" moved into the next phase, with an order for 100,000 flat panel screens, designed to deliver product messaging for specific aisles via eye-level plasma screens. Wal-Mart's IPTV network will run transmit over--logically enough--IP connections. Wal-Mart, which is working on the in-store media network with Premier Retail Networks, is considering future capabilities that might be linked into customers' actions, said PRN VP Genet Garamendi.

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