Walmart, our second-best retailer for Editors' Choice Black Friday deals, has released its full Black Friday ad. And judging from the promotions below (which include some amazing TV deals and discounts on Apple products), we're pretty optimistic about what's to come for 2013.
Walmart Goes Big on Guaranteed Doorbusters
Last week we suggested there might be more guaranteed doorbusters this year, and we're pleased to announce that our prediction has come true. During Black Friday 2012, Walmart guaranteed three different deals for shoppers who showed up at the proper time; if the store ran out of stock, the shopper received a voucher to obtain the item at the advertised price later, once inventory had been refreshed. Unlike traditional limited-stock doorbusters, these guaranteed deals were less risky for consumers who were deciding whether it was worth heading to a brick-and-mortar store on Thanksgiving.
Consumers must have responded well to the retail strategy, because this year Walmart will guarantee 21 of its doorbusters. That's seven times as many offers that theoretically can't sell out. There will be two waves of guaranteed deals: The first group will be offered from 6 pm to 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day, and another set of deals will debut at 8 pm until 9 pm. Walmart claims that if customers can't buy these goods during its Black Friday store hours, they'll receive it by Christmas at the latest.
That's all well and fine, but we only care about guaranteed deals if the prices are noteworthy. So what can shoppers expect from Walmart this year?
The Crazy TV Prices You've Been Waiting For
Emerson 50" 1080p LED-Backlit LCD HDTV for $288
It wouldn't be Black Friday without a doorbusting TV deal, and this is certainly an enticing big screen offer. Up until now, the lowest price we'd ever seen for a 50" 1080p LCD TV was $348. Walmart's deal on a third-tier manufacturer set drops the floor by an additional $60. While this set will likely be barebones without fancy "smart" features, this is about as good as it gets for big screen TVs; our generous prediction for 55" TVs, for example, is a full $141 more than this.
Funai 32" 720p LED-Backlit LCD HDTV for $98
A 720p resolution isn't exactly the gold standard in visual quality these days, but when paying the absolute minimum is a must, you can't go wrong here. We've never seen a 32" LCD TV for this cheap before.
Samsung 51" 720p Plasma HDTV for $427
Although it boasts a lowly 720p resolution, there's no denying that $427 is a super price for an entry-level 51" plasma HDTV. That's $23 under our August mention of this model and it's the lowest price we've ever seen for a Samsung 51" plasma HDTV. (It also beats the current low for this model by $71.)
Vizio 60" 1080p WiFi LED-Backlit LCD HDTV for $688
Here's a case of deal deja vu: Last Black Friday, Walmart offered a strikingly similar Vizio for the exact same price. And while we've seen cheaper plasma 60" TVs since then, this remains an all-time low price for an LCD of this size. That said, we're predicting that there's room for this category to drop a bit further, to as low as $599.
Element 40" 1080p LED-Backlit HDTV for $178
Don't care about the brand of your TV? Walmart will offer the lowest total price we've seen for any 40" 1080p LCD HDTV.
Electronics with an Edge
Apple iPad mini 16GB WiFi Tablet with a $100 Walmart Gift Card for $299
While $299 is list price for this first-generation iPad mini, the hefty $100 Walmart gift card makes this promo exceptional. The lowest price we've previously seen for this tablet is $249, so if you factor in the gift card, this would be the best value we've ever seen for the iDevice. Even better? This is one of Walmart's guaranteed doorbusters; customers who arrive between 6 pm and 7 pm on Thanksgiving will secure this price, even if local inventory runs out.
Apple iPhone 5C 16GB Smartphone with a $75 Walmart Gift Card for $45
We predicted that we'd see a greater number of "for profit" smartphone deals this Black Friday, and we also had a hunch that the latest iPhones would receive a special promotion this year as well. However, we're surprised to see the two deals combined. Walmart has been offering the 5C for $45 since mid-October, and starting at 8 am on November 29, shoppers can also get a $75 gift card to go with it. (Walmart will also offer the 5S for $189 with the same gift card, which is still noteworthy but less amazing, since we've already seen the 5S for $100 via Sprint and AT&T.)
HP Pavilion TouchSmart Celeron 1.5GHz 14" Touchscreen Laptop for $278
If you're itching to get a touchscreen laptop, but Best Buy's all-time low on a 12" ultraportable doesn't interest you, then check out this slightly better-equipped HP Pavilion TouchSmart. The 14-B109WM has both a bigger screen and a bigger hard drive than Best Buy's offering, and it only costs $28 more. Plus, it's one of Walmart's guaranteed doorbusters; you're sure to bag the cheapest 14" touchscreen laptop we've ever seen, even if your local store runs out.
Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD Headphones for $114.95
We love Black Friday catfights amongst retailers because they usually yield better prices for consumers; in this case, Target announced that it would offer these headphones for $119 on Black Friday. That would be a new all-time low price, if Walmart didn't just declare that it'll offer them for $4 less — and guarantee them to all customers who arrive between 8 pm and 9 pm on Thanksgiving. Before this, the lowest price we'd seen for these headphones was $130.
GoPro HERO3 White Edition 1080p Waterproof Digital Camcorder with a $30 Walmart Gift Card for $199
Shoppers on the lookout for a cool gadget for the holidays should take note of this deal. Before Black Friday, you might have had to pay $229 for this rugged camcorder. But thanks to Walmart, you can snag it for $30 less, with some extra spending cash to boot.
Noteworthy Discounts on Potentially Hot Toys and Games
Call of Duty: Ghosts for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 for $39.96
The tenth installment of the wildly popular Call of Duty Series, Ghosts is certain to be at the top of every gamer's holiday wish list. Although we saw this game bundled with a $25 Dell gift card for $60 earlier this month, this is the cheapest upfront price we've ever seen for this game on any platform, and it beats the current price low by at least $16. What's more, Walmart's Black Friday price for CoD: Ghosts beats the leaked Black Friday prices at Target, Best Buy, and GameStop.
Furby Boom! for $29
Thus far, we've only seen one sale that has included the Boom! line of Furbys; this Walmart offer is about 55% off retail price, and a new low. However, we suspect that the strangely-named Furby toy might get cheaper as we get closer to Christmas.
Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo for $44
Despite being adorable, we wouldn't make a special trip to Walmart for the latest incarnation of Elmo. It's only $4 cheaper than what you could spend online now. However, this lil' guy was included on the Toys "R" Us Fabulous 15, so it might be one of those "it" toys that'll be hard to find the closer we get to Christmas.
Nabi 2 Kids' 7" 8GB Tablet for $99
This tablet is more than a year old at this point, so we can't attest to its "coolness." However, we can say this: Walmart will be offering it for the lowest price we've seen by $30.
Good Prices on Home Goods
Rubbermaid 30-Piece Easy Find Lids Food Storage Set for $6.92
If you're going to be doing your Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving, you might as well pick up a cheap set of food storage containers to stow away those leftovers. This is the best price we've seen for any size set of Rubbermaid containers since last Black Friday, when Walmart offered a 28-piece set for the same price. (Similar 30-piece sets go for $48 or more elsewhere.)
Farberware 4-Slice Toaster Oven for $15
In keeping with our small appliance predictions, Walmart will slash prices on a bevy of countertop must-haves. A great example is this Farberware 4-slice toaster oven, which will be marked down to just $15 — making it the second-cheapest toaster oven we've ever seen.
Black & Decker 20-Volt Matrix Drill for $49
This Black & Decker drill looks fairly tempting at $49; after all, that's $11 below the current price elsewhere. Unfortunately, Walmart offered this exact drill for a buck less in July, so we know they can do better.
All in all, we were pretty impressed by the Walmart Black Friday ad because it promises the sort of all-time low prices that we've come to expect from the shopping holiday. We will certainly be seeing more ads in the coming weeks, so be sure to bookmark our Black Friday deals page and check back often to catch the latest in leaked ads, news, and predictions. You can also set up an email alert for future Black Friday features and deals.