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Walmart Makes Eye Care More Affordable for Millions of Americans
Date:3/19/2009

Retailer Provides Dramatic Savings on both Contact Lenses and Youth Eyewear

BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Committed to helping Americans save on out-of-pocket health care costs, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today announced it has sharply reduced what customers pay for both contact lenses* and youth eyewear.

In an effort to further drive down health care costs, Walmart and 1-800 CONTACTS, the world's largest retailer of contact lenses, are working together to help more Americans save as much as 12 to 50 percent on the costs of a yearly supply of contact lenses. Additionally, Walmart has lowered its prices on glasses and frames for children and teenagers** to make quality eyewear more affordable for families across the nation.

"Working with our suppliers and 1-800 CONTACTS, we have found a way to help our contact lens customers spend less and save more," said Dr. John Agwunobi, senior vice president and president of Walmart's Health and Wellness division. "By offering greater accessibility and affordability, we believe the customer savings could reach $400 million during the first three years of this alliance."

Walmart's program with 1-800 CONTACTS offers the convenience of high quality care provided by some of the nation's finest independent eye doctors combined with world class customer support offered by 1-800 CONTACTS' 24-hour online and telephone customer service representatives to all Walmart customers. Walmart and 1-800 CONTACTS estimate that customers have already saved more than $25 million since the program began rolling nationwide in January.

"At a time when every penny counts, contact lens wearers want to save money and get brand name contact lenses conveniently," said Jonathan Coon, chief executive officer at 1-800 CONTACTS. "We are proud to be working with Walmart. Together, we have eliminated the hassle of mail-in rebates and replaced them with instant savings at the register. Our alliance improves access and lowers costs - enabling contact lens wearers to replace their lenses more frequently and live healthier lives."

To help families during tough economic times, Walmart has also lowered prices on quality eyewear for children 18 years old and younger. Year-round, parents and caregivers will find youth frames and lenses for as low as $39. Walmart will also provide a one year guaranteed free replacement if the glasses are damaged.***

"No matter how bad the economy gets, families should never have to sacrifice their children's ability to see the world in all its detail," said Agwunobi. "This offering draws directly from our commitment to help families save money so they can live better."

Walmart Vision Center customers will find 18 different youth frame styles and colors for only $10.

Additionally, customers have three youth lens options:

  • $29 - Single Vision Youth Poly Impact resistant lens
  • $49 - Single Vision Poly Impact resistant with Platinum finish (finish helps reduce glare)
  • $79 - Single Vision Poly Impact resistant with Platinum finish and Transitions (transition lenses darken in sunlight to protect eyes from harmful rays from the sun)

Popular brands of stylish frames are also available at unbeatable prices. They include:

  • Baby Phat
  • Phat Farm
  • Body Glove
  • Nickelodeon
  • Hanna Montana
  • Turbo Flex
  • Umbro
  • Oscar de la Renta

This summer, consumers will also be able to choose from our new Daisy Fuentes frames at everyday low prices.

The 1-800 CONTACTS and youth eyewear offerings will be available in nearly 2,500 Walmart Vision Centers. For more information, customers can visit www.walmart.com.

    * Rebates applied at the time of a purchase of an annual supply of 
    contact lenses; see store for details
    ** Youth 18 years and under
    *** Guarantee to replace children's eyeglasses if damaged within one year 
    from purchase date; see store for details.

About 1-800 CONTACTS

1-800 CONTACTS, based in Draper, Utah, is the world's largest contact lens store. The company stocks almost 10 million contact lenses and delivers over 150,000 every day directly to customers. 1-800 CONTACTS has delivered over 16 million orders to more than 5 million customers since the company was founded in 1995. Through its easy-to-remember, toll-free telephone number "1-800 CONTACTS" (1-800-266-8228) and its Internet Web site, www.1800contacts.com, the company sells all of the most popular brands of contact lenses including Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue Advance, and Focus DAILIES. High volume, cost-efficient operations enable 1-800 CONTACTS to offer products at competitive prices while delivering a high level of customer service.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.


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SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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