BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: While the US prepares for the end of analog television early next year, the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, has unveiled its own digital switchover.

The company's instore network is to be powered by Internet Protocol Television - the result of two years and $10 million (€6.9m; £5.6m) worth of research to find the best locations and programs to roll out across 27,000 screens by 2010.

The Wal-Mart Smart Network will launch in 300 stores in time for this year's holiday season, replacing the current satellite network.

Says cmo Stephen Quinn "We've built a network tailored to the way consumers shop our stores, delivering helpful, custom content closest to the point of decision that helps them shop smarter.

"The Smart Network is intelligent too, because every screen and every message has a purpose and we will be analyzing point-of-sale data on an ongoing basis to deliver a shopper-centric communications platform."

The system will allow advertisers to target more precisely and to change messages more often than is currently possible.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff