Two of the biggest retailers are about to face off in their annual Black Friday heavyweight holiday price slashing competition: Walmart and Best Buy. Traditionally, when consumers think about Black Friday, these two retail giants often come to mind. The reason? Both are well known for their incredibly discounted doorbusters and are, without a doubt, two of the best retail spots to camp for Black Friday deals.
With their Black Friday ads expected to release within the next couple of weeks, we wanted to break down both retailers’ previous Black Friday deals and compare some of the differences and similarities between them. Smart shoppers will want to pay attention to what these two stores might have up their sleeves for the 2019 holiday shopping season, as it will help guide your camping and shopping strategies.
Walmart Vs. Best Buy: Black Friday 2018
In predicting the outcome of any given battle, understanding the contenders is always a key step. Both Walmart and Best Buy are quite similar when it comes to electronics, home gadgets and video gaming. However, both also offer specialties that the other does not. Walmart is traditionally known to offer slightly lower pricing, often by marginal discounts, when it comes to their holiday season sales. Best Buy carries a greater selection of home theater options, especially in stores housing their Magnolia options.
A Look Back: Walmart Black Friday 2018
In 2018, Walmart stores featured the cheapest 40-inch television on Black Friday – a Hisense 1080p model for just $99. This price was tough to beat for any retailer and was heavily featured in many Black Friday reviews online.
Walmart has also always had fantastic deals on cellphones during Black Friday and 2018 was no exception. They dominated the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max savings by offering a $300 gift card with new line activation. Best Buy featured similar promotions, but only offered a $150 direct savings offer on these particular models.
Walmart was also able to deliver another nice strike in the form of the Google Home Mini by pairing it with a Chromecast device for only $45. Best Buy was close to this price, but offered each device individually for $25 (thought they did offer a slight savings if you bought two Chromecasts together).
A Look Back: Best Buy Black Friday 2018
Best Buy offers a ton of options when it comes to home networking and last year’s Linksys Mesh WiFi Router triple pack was one of Best Buy’s Black Friday steals. While both Walmart and Best Buy featured the slick home networking router, Best Buy came in at a low $179 compared to Walmart’s $199.
Best Buy is traditionally known for hosting a slew of savings on the big screen televisions and while Walmart may have had the cheapest 40-inch television, Best Buy managed to undercut their thunder just a smidge by offering the cheapest 4K television – a Toshiba 43-inch for only $129.
And while Walmart does actually offer a handful of home theater projector models, they simply don’t compete with Best Buy’s massive lineup of impressive wall-display units. In 2018, Best Buy featured the Epson Home Theater Projector for only $949 for early shoppers on Black Friday.
Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday 2019 Predictions
As we near the beginning of the upcoming Black Friday battle, we have a few predictions on which sales and discounts each store will feature.
We predict that, like 2018, Walmart will dominate the cellphone gift card promotions with activations. They had several gift card options available last year, including one for $300 and one for $400 (on older-model phones). Best Buy has a history of simply offering direct discounts to the consumer for their line activations instead and we believe this tradition will continue again in 2019. As a result, we believe Walmart will run away with this category again.
While Walmart has definitely expanded their electronics operation over the last several years, they still don’t carry as large of a selection of home theater products as Best Buy does. As such, we think Best Buy will once again dominate the home theater sales during Black Friday, ultimately leaving Walmart pretty far behind in this category. From speakers and subwoofers to giant, 85-inch 4K televisions, we predict that Best Buy will offer the largest savings when it comes to home theater.
It wouldn’t be Black Friday without massive video game sales and this year, we predict things will be a bit different than in 2018. So far, Target, Amazon and Walmart have already prioritized video gaming in their early 2019 Toy Lists, and we think this trend will continue with all retailers that sell video games. We predict that both Best Buy and Walmart will feature some amazing deals on video game consoles and video games, specifically on the Playstation 4 and on the Xbox One X. Our prediction has them matching prices evenly across the board when it comes to the hottest games of the year, with Walmart taking the slight advantage by lowering their prices by a few pennies.
Ultimately, we do not predict that either of these retailers will topple the other during their Black Friday sales events, but rather that they’ll both reign in specific specialty areas. However, if you’re searching for the best deals on cellphones, you’ll want to make sure to check out the Walmart ad. And if you can’t wait to load up on home theater goodies this year, you’ll absolutely want to check out Best Buy’s ad.