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    Wal-Mart Runs Presidential Candidate Videos Online

    Wal-Mart is continuing its efforts to involve customers and associates in this year's presidential election.

    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today launched a video-based online voter guide, allowing both major presidential candidates to reach the retail giant's 136 million customers and 1.4 million associates starting today and running through Election Day.

    Wal-Mart said the video voter guide will reflect Sen. Barack Obama's and Sen. John McCain's campaign platforms in a nonpartisan manner.

    The company said it plans to alert customers and associates to the new Web offering through public service announcements airing on its in-store television network.

    In other Wal-Mart news, the world's largest retailer said it is heading to the small towns of China-although "small" may be a misnomer of sorts. In a country with 1.3 billion people, cities like Wuhu with 2.3 million people, and Maoming with 6.8 million, are considered relatively small.

    Wal-Mart's attempt to compete in China is anchored in such smaller cities. Only three of the 30 outlets Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. opened in China last year were in Shanghai, Beijing, or Shenzen; the rest were in provincial capitals and other cities.

    Other non-native retailers, such as Starbucks and French store Carrefour SA, the world's second largest retailer and the largest foreign retailer in China, are following suit.

    Wal-Mart said its China sales rose 32.2 percent in the second quarter, while international sales overall were up 16.9 percent.

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