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Discounters turn up the heat on outdoor living


Wal-Mart published its 2009 Outdoor Living Guide with an emphasis on such brands as Better Homes and Gardens and Weber. The 60-page catalog, with prices effective March 1 through July 1, showed up in stores earlier this week and at

Featured products include tables and chairs, with 16 pages devoted to the category and an additional 12 pages devoted to grills. Other featured product categories include fire pits, statuary, fountains, decorative lighting, gardening accessories, outdoor clocks, rugs, live plants and grill accessories.

There is a heavy emphasis on Wal-Mart's Site-to-Store free shipping service, which is called out across the bottom of every page along with a reminder to visit to see an expanded assortment.

At Kmart, the outdoor living message centered on the Jaclyn Smith home collection. The offering will now include outdoor items, notably patio furniture along with tabletop and decor, Kmart announced. According to Jaclyn Smith herself: "In developing the expanded Jaclyn Smith line, it was important to me that customers be empowered to create an entire living space from my home collection -- whether it be a dining area, a bedroom and adjoining bath, or a beautiful outdoor getaway," said Smith.

Target expanded its brand with 27 news stores, all of which celebrated grand openings on March 8.

The openings include new SuperTarget stores in Kissimmee, Fla; Canton, Ga; Hillside, Ill.; and Pflugerville, Allen and Lewisville, Texas.

In Kissimmee, the store's latest iteration of a garden center included live plants as well as statuary and garden accessories.

In early 2008, Target launched mix-and-match patio furniture in its Garden Place departments. The offering includes coordinating chairs, tables, umbrellas and accessories, allowing shoppers to build personalized patio collections.

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