It’s Official: Walmart’s Black Friday 2015 Deals are Terrible

By on November 12, 2015

Walmart_thumbs-down

Taking a step back from the Black Friday frenzy of doorbusters, Walmart is shifting strategies this year by offering deals that last for longer periods of time as opposed to short term deals. What’s the drawback to that approach? The deals in their 2015 Black Friday Flyer are the worst we have seen in years.

If it was just removing the doorbusters, that would be one thing. However, Walmart has scaled up prices on typical doorbuster items as well as offered a smattering of non-competitive prices across a variety of product categories.

Let’s take a look at just a few examples of pricing changes between 2014 and 2015:

Example 1: 1080p 50-inch HDTV

50-inch-comparison

Last year’s big HDTV doorbuster at Walmart was a 50-inch LED HDTV (no brand specified) for just under $220. This year, we have an identical model priced more than $50 higher compared to the previous year.

Example 2: Beats Pill Wireless Speaker

beats-pill-comparison

Last year, Walmart discounted the $200 Beats Pill by 50 percent. This year Walmart is discounting the Beats Pill by 25 percent. Interestingly, Target already beat Walmart’s advertised price by $30 with a sale on November 9th and will be beating Walmart’s BF price by $10.

Example 3: iPad Mini Tablets

ipad-mini-comparison

During 2014, Walmart brought the price of the 16GB iPad Mini down to $199 and offered an additional $30 gift card with each purchase. This year, Walmart brought the replacement model (iPad Mini 2) down to the same price, but didn’t offer the bonus gift card.

Example 4: Kid’s Pajamas

kids-pajamas-comparison

While raising prices by a quarter aren’t going to make much of a difference to the average shopper, it’s going to impact Walmart’s bottom line tremendously. If they move 500K pajama sets during the sale, that’s an additional $125,000 in revenue for raising the price.

What about Walmart versus Target?

On top of these pricing changes, there’s a number of products that Walmart has opted into being non-competitive on against one of it’s major rivals, Target. Here’s are are a few examples:

Example 1: Xbox One Gears of War Edition

target-vs-walmart-xbox-one

Both stores will be discounting the Xbox One Gears of War edition from $349 down to $299. However, Target will be offering an additional $60 gift card with the purchase while Walmart is only offering a $30 gift card.

Example 2: Audi Convertible 6V Ride-On

target-vs-walmart-audi-ride-on

Target has chopped about $105 off the MSRP of this Audi ride-on car while Walmart is content to price the car $15 more than what Walmart is charging.

Example 3: Guitar Hero (All Systems)

target-vs-walmart-guitar-hero

Once again, Target leads the pack with a big discount on the recently released Guitar Hero Game while Walmart is matching Best Buy’s $69 price. However, Best Buy is also throwing in a mic with the bundle.

Example 4: iPad Tablets

target-vs-walmart-ipads

Walmart is discounting one model of the iPad Air 2 down to $399 this year. While Target is still charging full price, you will receive a $150 gift card as well as have your pick of any color. That’s a net gain of $50. In addition, Target’s iPad Mini 2 is arguably a better deal. The $80 gift card brings the iPad 2 Mini cost down to $189; $10 cheaper than Walmart’s price.

Example 5: Disney Infinity & Skylanders

target-vs-walmart-disney

While a minor difference in price, it’s still an obvious savings for anyone that wants to score a great deal on Disney Infinity 3.0 or Skylanders Superchargers. However, we should note that Walmart is charging less for additional Infinity 3.0 figures ($9) as opposed to Target’s price ($11).

What Does This Mean for Black Friday?

If you are interested in doorbusters, Walmart has fallen from a 1st-tier, “Let’s go stand in line for hours” store down to a 2nd-tier, backup store that can be used for people that missed out on the best prices at all other retailers. That’s the most logical approach to shopping at Walmart this year since they have opted into this strange no-doorbuster strategy. Other products in the ad are priced competitively, but can be found for the exact same price at other stores.

Are we saying you shouldn’t shop at Walmart at all this year? No. We did spot four solid deals in the ad that are intriguing. Those items include:

  • Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Wi-Fi Router for $150 (That’s $50 less than recent price history.)
  • Beats Studio Headphones for $169 (That’s $30 less than recent price history on Amazon.)
  • LG’s 55UF6450 4K 55-inch HDTV for $698 (That’s $100 less than the Samsung 55-inch 4K in Target’s ad.)
  • TCL’s 55FS3750 55-inch 1080p Roku HDTV for $348 (That’s roughly $100 less than recent price drops on the 3700 model)

However, we wouldn’t be shocked to see online retailer like Amazon match all of these prices on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. We would advise targeting the best price you can online as deals start to appear at midnight on Thanksgiving, then use Walmart as your backup retailer.

What do you think about the Walmart Black Friday 2015 ad? Let us know in the comments below.

About Mike Flacy

By day, I'm the Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut in addition to being the content manager for Steve's Digicams and High-Def Digest. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!

11 Comments

  1. Geralyn J

    November 30, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    very interesting comparison. It pays to do research before buying.

  2. Eileen Deliz

    November 22, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I’ve had to do a lot more comparison shopping lately due to Walmart’s higher prices, and I’m talking regular, everyday items.

    • Anahí

      November 25, 2015 at 11:37 am

      I’ve also noticed this, and it’s becoming a pain…

  3. Hohojijo

    November 20, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t see a problem with this. I plan to shop mostly online, but I know people who will shop at Walmart due to its location and their belief that prices will be lower… more power to them

  4. JR

    November 15, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I’m still waiting for a great BF deal to get motivated to spend some money, but there have been much better previous deals this past year that blow what has been advertised, out of the water. Mikes blog here has some great examples.

  5. tmc

    November 15, 2015 at 6:22 am

    no good deed… so much for the benefits of lower oil prices and yuan devaluation… greed prevails.. so consumer.. sit on you wallets! maybe they’ll redeem themselves on cyber week or Christmas/New Years

  6. zzyzx

    November 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Door buster are usually reserved for for people who’s time is worth much and are willing to stand in a line for days to get one of the few Black Friday teaser deals.

    One thing that’s consistent throughout all the Black Friday ads I’ve seen is that there aren’t actually many good deals to be had. Every store offers up a handful of legit deep discounts, of which they have an inadequate supply. They get you into the store with these deals, but unless you slept on a sidewalk the night before, you were basically suckered into coming in for nothing, nothing but the retailer’s hope that you’ll stick around and buy stuff at full price, like an idiot.

    • Mike

      November 27, 2015 at 1:19 am

      I’m not a huge fan of Walmart.
      Other stores like Best Buy and Target have much better name brand items at much better discounts
      2013 I went to Walmart got everything I wanted.
      2014 I went to Best Buy, came out empty handed.
      2015 Walmart, everything I wanted. I waited 40min. Arrived 30min early and it took 10 min to get inside. Got the TCL 55, but the Emerson 40 and 50 were both instock.
      Best Buy had an Awesome $150 Toshiba, but I knew better than try to get it.
      I did order some stuff from Best Buys website and I recommend shipping online Thursday afternoon, but don’t bother going to Best Buy store. They have 4 or 5 tv’s, its a joke. Walmart has TRUCK LOADS OF STUFF. Emerson, Hisense, and TCL, crap, but they have it in stock.

  7. Scott F.

    November 13, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Welcome to Hyper Inflation and $15/hr employees, this is a trend you can expect to continue to see in an escalated manner.

    • John

      November 18, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Really? Do you see everything through that lens even when it’s not even remotely related? I am not envious.

    • AMH

      November 19, 2015 at 4:41 am

      Even if others aren’t able (or willing) to draw that connection, it does make some degree of sense. They have to make up for the revenue losses somewhere, as rent, inventory and transportation prices aren’t dropping, even as they shell out more money.

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