Wal-Mart: Good luck finding that $378 laptop

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Gail Lavielle said the retailer was "very pleased" with its traffic and sales trends so far.

"We had around 2 million people just in the first hour in Wal-Mart stores today," she said. "What's interesting is that people are looking for the deal items but then shopping for other things as well."

The retailer will detail its November sales performance Saturday and while Wal-Mart doesn't break out daily sales, Lavielle said it will provide a gauge of its Black Friday results.

Wal-Mart has been very aggressive with holiday pricing after it decided to skimp on deep discounts last year to try to boost profits -- a move that turned out to be a big blunder, with shoppers flocking to Target, Best Buy and other competitors instead. (Full story).

This time around, the world's largest retailer promised to give shoppers some of the best deals on consumer electronics and toys, two of the hottest holiday categories, and said it would match competitors holiday prices if they were lower than Wal-Mart's for the same product.

Discounted electronic gear was selling briskly, which could redeem Wal-Mart with some consumers, though there were also reports of stores running out of merchandise. (Full story).

Said Lavielle, "Electronics was definitely the first place our shoppers were going to."

Industry watchers had picked Wal-Mart's $378 HP pavilion laptop as one of the must-have deals of the season.

CNN showed video of shoppers scuffling at a Wal-Mart s
tore in Orlando, Fla., with an eyewitness saying laptops were being thrown "20 feet in the air and people were collapsing on each other to grab them. It was ridiculous."