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Walmart vs. Best Buy: Black Friday 2020 Preview

October 6, 2020 by Matt Wehner | Updated 6th October, 2020, 5:39 PM

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Black Friday is right around the corner and major retailers are prepared to do whatever it takes to bring in big sales during a pandemic. Most retailers will be shutting their doors for Thanksgiving – a first for many of them. As a result of the pandemic, many retailers are organizing month-long sale events leading up to Black Friday. We predict that both Walmart and Best Buy will take full advantage of their curbside pickup services as well great shipping options.

Traditionally, both stores would be releasing their Black Friday ads the first week of November, but the pandemic has thrown tradition out the window. It is nearly impossible to predict when the stores will release their Black Friday plans, but a few retailers have done so already. With the possibility of Black Friday savings starting as early as Nov. 1, we predict that we’ll know both Walmart’s and Best Buy’s Black Friday strategy before October ends.

Walmart Vs. Best Buy

In 2019, both Best Buy and Walmart dominated the cellphone and television categories, offering up major discounts on some of the hottest tech around. Walmart offered huge savings via their doorbusters, prompting huge lines and lots of packed stores. Best Buy featured similar huge savings on big screen TVs and tons of discounts on video games and gaming accessories. Due to the pandemic, both stores are unlikely to hold long lines this year. It’s safe to say that this year will be very different than last year. While we predict that great sales will be available at both locations, it’s very hard to predict which store will handle Black Friday during a pandemic best.

A Look Back: Walmart Black Friday 2019

Walmart took a strong victory last year when it came to video game sales, thanks in large part to dropping multiple Switch video games to only $30. With the Nintendo Switch being one of 2019’s hottest video game consoles, Walmart’s video game sales were perfect.

Walmart also dominated the cellphone market, with huge savings and great offers when it comes to opening new lines for the hottest phones. Like in 2018, Walmart again offered huge savings in terms of gift cards and they covered almost every carrier out there.

A Look Back: Best Buy Black Friday 2019

While Walmart may have won the video game war, Best Buy dominated the video game console savings by having the biggest and best savings for the Xbox One X and the Playstation 4. There were a few bundles that could be snagged, but Best Buy had the best Xbox One X bundle for $350.

Best Buy also dominated the computer sales and savings, which should come as no surprise. While Walmart does offer a few different laptops and PCs, their selection is nothing compared to what Best Buy has to offer. Best Buy had several stellar deals on laptops and even had one of the best prices for the various iPad Pro models.

Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday 2020 Predictions

While it feels nearly impossible to predict what savings and sales will be like on Black Friday during a pandemic, we do feel that a couple retailers will likely repeat previous traditions.

We predict that, like 2018 and 2019, Walmart will once again dominate the cellphone savings. We predict that Walmart will feature the Note 20 Ultra and the iPad 11 with huge savings via gift cards for activating new lines. It’s possible Best Buy will offer better sale prices on some of the newer style phones, like the Microsoft Duo or the Galaxy Fold, but overall we predict that Walmart will yet again dominate the overall cellphone savings.

We predict that there are two categories Best Buy will easily carry this year: computers and home theater. We’re not exactly sure what home theater savings look like during a pandemic, but it seems to be a given that Best Buy will once again offer the biggest selection and the biggest sales. Walmart will most likely have the least expensive 4K television, but we predict that it will be hard to top Best Buy’s deals and discounts when it comes to 75-inch and larger televisions, audio receivers and other home theater needs. While it might be too hard to predict who will offer the cheapest iPad Pro or iPad Air, it feels like another given that Best Buy will continue to dominate the computer category again this year.

We predict that it will be far too close to call when it comes to video games this year. Best Buy has a history of dropping significant savings on video games when it comes to new consoles and with the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 releasing this year, we predict that Best Buy will yet again offer significant deals. Walmart did drop the price of Switch titles last year and will most likely do so again, but we’re not certain they’ll be able to top Best Buy’s potential for savings when it comes to the hottest titles on the newest consoles. We predict that Walmart will most likely focus on Switch sales again, allowing Best Buy to run away with the category overall.

While it remains to be seen just what retailers will do for Black Friday this year, we predict that it will still be a great year for sales. Online shopping has never been easier, and thanks to both Walmart and Best Buy offering curbside pickup, shopping in general has never felt so simple. We predict that, even during a pandemic, both Walmart and Best Buy will offer tremendous sales and loads of ways to save this holiday season.