The gloves came off last week and the pricing wars of 2009 are underway. When Wal-Mart began selling hotly anticipated books on Walmart.com for $10, it was a clear signal that retail giant is planning to grab even more market share coming out of the recession. The response from competitors to that move was also a signal that other retailers are going to have manage pricing and markdowns in near real-time this holiday season in order to stay competitive. When Amazon.com Inc. matched the $10 prices, Wal-Mart lowered its prices to $9. Then Target jumped into the fight and started offering the same titles at $8.99. Wal-Mart then threw a smiley in their face by dropping down to $8.98. Of course, this blood bath of dropping well below list prices on hot new items was bad news to Borders, Barnes & Noble and other independent booksellers (the American Booksellers Association has already asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the price war to determine if it constitutes illegal predatory pricing), but it was also a wake-up call to retailers in other verticals as well.