Walmart's not shy about telling the world that their goal is to win Black Friday every year. And they do, with aggressive pricing, innovative inventory strategies, and sheer force of will. It's no surprise that Walmart's 2016 Black Friday sale does exactly that.
The wristbands are back for high-demand doorbusters, and shoppers with wristbands will have two hours from the start of the sale to pick up their items. For most shoppers across the country, the pickup deadline will be 8pm. Wristband distribution times vary by location, so you should call your local store to find out when they plan to start handing them out. For the most part, wristband items will be revealed when the Black Friday store maps go live on 11/17.
On the other hand, the 1-Hour Guarantee is toast. When we asked Walmart about it, they replied that since they plan to have plenty of inventory for everything, they simply no longer need it.
"I said it before and I will say it again, we will win the season on price – on Black Friday, on Cyber Monday and every day before and after,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “That means delivering the Black Friday deals we’re known for in stores, online and on our app. And, we’ve secured significant availability of these items. We pride ourselves on not being the retailer who advertises a great price and then only has a few available."
And what about the gift card bundles? Interestingly, we're seeing fewer items paired with gift cards in favor of more actual discounts. While the gift cards can make an offer more compelling, we like this move a lot since you don't get stuck with a gift card that can only be used in one place. Keep your money instead and spend it where and how you like.
Finally, we'd like to point out that we're not picking any gaming bundles as favorite deals in our list below. If you're looking for them, you're better served at Kohl's, where you'll find the same bundles at the same price, plus earn Kohl's Cash on the purchase for significant added value. This is generally true with Fitbit as well, and any other products priced over $50 that are offered by both stores on Black Friday.
The Visual Comparison
Generally speaking, the Walmart Black Friday ad is always a tough one to compare side by side. Their graphic designers do a pretty good job of mixing things up. Plus, the sale strategy has evolved over time, from different start times for different categories which required different sections in the ad, to today where there's one start time for everything. That alone forces some reorganization.
There's a lot of overlap from 2015 to 2016. The usual collection of small kitchen electrics and cooking accessories are only different by 4¢ and include the same 5-qt slow cooker, Black & Decker griddle and 12-cup coffeemaker, inexpensive deep fryers and blenders, and the same Better Homes & Gardens 21-piece prep and storage set.
Our Favorite Walmart Black Friday Deals
Philips 55" Class Smart 4K TV - $298
Although we can't promise that the model numbers are the same, we recently posted a deal for a Philips TV with the same known specs at PC Richard & Sons for $400. Walmart knocks another $102 off to make it an absolute steal. Important note: We already know this is on the docket as a wristband item, so you'll need to go in-store to get it.
Samsung 24" Class HDTV (Model UN24H4000) - $98 (reg. $128)
Of course, we also have to give a nod to the best TV under $100 that we've seen so far. It's a tiny thing, but a Samsung, and so while it's a little more expensive than the 32" Polaroid model in Target's Black Friday ad, we think this one is a better deal.
iPad mini 2 32GB - $199 (reg. $269)
We're accustomed to seeing iPads paired with gift cards during Black Friday to compensate. That's not the case here. This is a straight-up, legit discount on an Apple product. We last posted a deal on these just a few days ago for $220, also from Walmart. If your memory is especially sharp, you'll recall that Walmart had an iPad mini 2 for $199 last year as well, but that model only had 16GB. This one is a better deal.
HP 2548 Wireless Printer - $19
The last time we saw an HP wireless printer priced this low was Black Friday last year, when Walmart had an HP wireless printer listed at $19. It was a different model number, but at this price point we're pretty sure no one is hung up on that.
Fitbit Flex 2 - $69 (reg. $99)
The lowest price we've seen on the Fitbit Flex 2 before now was when we found them at L.L. Bean for $80 after coupon back in October. Walmart's Black Friday price represents a whole new price low.
Tzumi Pocket Juice 20K Power Bank - $15 (reg. $24.88)
I never used to carry a powerbank, but now that I have one I wonder how I ever got along without it. This one holds 4 phone charges and 2 tablet charges, which is a lot of charging power for the $15 price tag.
Apple iPhone 7 + contract + $250 Walmart Gift Card - $0 down
Remember when we said you should wait until Black Friday to get your iPhone 7? This is why. Zero money down and a $250 gift card when you sign on with a contract.
Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Dreams Dollhouse with Furniture by KidKraft - $88 (reg. $149)
This is the dollhouse of every little girl's dreams. It's also a pretty solid piece of furniture, made from wood instead of flimsy plastic and particle board.
Kids Pajama Sets - $4.75
Walmart was particularly excited about these licensed character pajamas for kids when they talked to the press yesterday ahead of the ad release, and we agree that the price is right. These pajamas were priced at $4.75 last year as well.
Hotel Style 1,100 Thread Count Sheet Set - $25
We've never seen 1,000 TC sheets for less than $33, and we dug deep into the database just to be sure. This is a jaw dropping price for 1,100 thread count sheets. Buy multiples.
Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Vacuum - $44 (reg. $88)
We've never posted any Hoover WindTunnel vacuum for less than $65, and Walmart absolutely destroys that price low here.
Hatchimals - $48.88
Parents, this is THE toy of the season. Get it now, while you can, or you'll be buying it from a third party seller for $250.
Vizio 60" Class HDTV (Model D60N-E3) - $398
A good compromise if you want a big screen but can't afford 4K, especially since Vizio is a good, reputable brand.
DJI Drone Phantom Standard 3 - $369 (reg. $499)
Drones are hot again this year, and they come with more bells and whistles than ever. This one features 3-axis stabilization, GPS, real-time streaming video to your mobile device, 12MP photos, and a range of up to 1 kilometer. So it's pretty fancy.
Better Than Last Year
- Tilting TV Wall Mount
- 2016: $19
- 2015: $29
- LG Tone Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headset
- 2016: $29
- 2015: $32
- Kids Mini Trampoline
- 2016: $25
- 2015: $29
- Arctic King 5-cu.ft. Chest Freezer
- 2016: $99
- 2015: $124
More Returning Deals
- Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse - $8.88
- HP 15.6" Laptop - $199
- PlayStation 4 Controller - $39
- Karaoke Machine - $49
- 50-pc. Wooden Train Table - $37
- Pogo Sticks - $15
- Character Toddler Room-in-a-Box - $99
- Boys Wrangler Jeans - $8.50
- Pyrex Bake-n-Store 24-pc Set - $19
- T-fal 18-pc Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set - $49
- Serta Pillow - $4.88
Note that our returning deals are meant to be a sample, not an exhaustive list. Many categories, particularly within apparel and classic toys, have repeat pricing from one year to the next, and we did not list them all.
This article originally appeared on Brad’s Deals.