This post was created by the Contributor in partnership with BestBlackFriday.com, which specializes in holiday season sales. The deals highlighted within this post were independently selected and do not contain affiliate links.
Black Friday 2018 is an opportunity for buyers because it is war between retailers. Every year the deals get better and more numerous, but tracking who has the best Black Friday sales is challenging. That’s why I’m squaring off the biggest retailers, starting with
Walmart Vs. Target’s Best Black Friday Tech Deals Last Year
To predict whether Walmart or Target will have superior holiday sales this year, you have to look at their history and the best place to start is comparing last year’s 32-page Walmart Black Friday ad to Target’s 36-page Black Friday ad. Here are comparisons of their deals on the most popular products:
Where Walmart Black Friday Beat Target Black Friday
Apple’s iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus – Walmart offered a free $300 Walmart Gift Card with purchase of Apple’s iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus (review deal) while Target only offered a free $250 Gift Card with Apple iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus and Qualified Activation (review deal).
Google Home Mini – Walmart offered the Google Home Mini for $29 + a $25 Shopping Offer (review deal). The $25 shopping offer was $25 off a Walmart order through Google Express. This offer equated to a better net discount than Target’s Google Home Mini deal which was a $29 price tag plus a $10 Target gift card (review deal).
Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi – Walmart and Target had similar Apple iPad 32GB WiFi deals last year but Walmart had a slight edge. While Walmart’s price point of $249 (review deal) was only $0.99 cheaper than Target’s price point of $249.99 (review deal), Walmart had free two-day shipping for this item since it was over the required $35 threshold.
PlayStation 4 GranTurismo Sport VR Bundle – Walmart offered this very popular PS4 Bundle for $100 off at $299 last year (review deal) while Target did not have this deal in its ad scan. This was an easy win for Walmart.
Cheapest 39-inch HDTV – Walmart had an Element 39-inch Class HD (720P) Smart LED TV for $125 (review deal) which was the cheapest mainstream 39-inch Black Friday TV deal. Another easy win for Walmart.
Shopping Hours: While both Target and Walmart opened at 6pm last year on Thanksgiving, Walmart ran its doorbuster sales the entirety of Thanksgiving night into Black Friday without stopping. Target, on the other hand, chose to close down at 12 am Black Friday before reopening at 6am. In my opinion, Walmart won the shopping hours last year versus Target since its longer hours made it easier for shoppers to arrange their plans.
Where Target Black Friday Beat Walmart Black Friday
Amazon Devices – Last year, Target offered a variety of Amazon devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for $24.99 (review deal) and the Amazon Echo Dot for $29.99 (review deal). Conversely, Walmart did not offer a single Amazon device for sale during its Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.
Xbox One S 500GB Console – Page 1 of Target’s Black Friday ad last year had the Xbox One S 500GB for $189.99 + $25 Gift Card (review deal). While Walmart offered the same device for $189 (review deal), the $25 Target gift made Target the winner.
Cheapest 55-inch HDTV – Last year Target had an in-store only doorbuster on the Westinghouse 55-inch 4K Smart UHD TV for $249.99 (review deal). This offer was $50 cheaper than the Sharp 55-inch Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV going for $298 (review deal) in Walmart’s Black Friday ad. While the Sharp TV was definitely a better brand, Target gets the win here for shoppers strictly going by price.
GoPro HERO5 Black – Target offered the GoPro HERO5 Black for $349.99 + $50 Target Gift Card (review deal). Walmart did not have this widely popular item in its ad scan.
So what does this all mean for Walmart and Target’s Black Friday 2018 sales? Let’s break it down:
What To Expect From Walmart Black Friday 2018 and Target Black Friday 2018
Both these retailers have history in running very similar deals year-on-year and simply updating them to the latest technology. Consequently, Black Friday 2018 should present the following stand out deals from each retailer:
Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR – Expect Walmart to offer a $300 Walmart Gift Card when activating a new installment plan while Target won’t quite match it, only offering a free $250 Gift Card with Apple iPhone XS, Apple iPhone XS Max or Apple iPhone XR purchase and Qualified Activation.
Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Note9 – Expect Walmart to offer a $300 – $350 Walmart Gift Card when activating a new instalment plan. Target should match this or come close to matching this with a featured deal for a free $300 Gift Card with a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, or Galaxy S9+ and activation
Sony PlayStation 4 Bundle – I expect Walmart to offer a Sony PS4 Pro Bundle for $274.99 which would be a saving of $125. Expect Target to have the same bundle at $274.99 but also throw in a $25 Target gift card, making Target the better buy.
Microsoft Xbox One X Bundle – Expect Target to have a Microsoft Xbox One X Bundle for $399.99 with a $25 Target gift card. Walmart should outdo Target offering an Xbox One X Bundle for $399.99 with a $30 Walmart gift card.
55-inch 4K TVs – Expect Walmart to have a 55-inch 4K TV for around $200 from a respectable brand while Target should have a cheaper off brand 55-inch TV for $190 or less. While Target will win here strictly on price, pay close attention to the brands on offer as paying a little more might give you a much better TV.
Black Friday Ad Scan Release Dates – Based on the trends of the last few years, I expect Walmart’s Black Friday ad to be released around 12am ET on Thursday, November 8th and Target’s Black Friday ad to be released in the early morning hours of Monday, November 5th.
Shopping Hours – Expect both Walmart and Target to open up at 6pm on Thanksgiving. I expect Walmart to stay open the entire night, but Target is truly a wildcard and may try to fight Walmart directly this year or stick to its usual pattern and close down for a few hours on Black Friday morning. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Target revert back to staying open the entire night like it did in 2016.
Free Shipping – Walmart will offer free two-day shipping on any orders over $35 while Target will again offer free shipping on any order.
Cyber Monday Ad Scans and Deals – It’s unlikely that we will see Walmart’s Cyber Monday deals or Target’s Cyber Monday deals until very late in the sales season. I expect both to be revealed on the Saturday after Black Friday. Target will promote a formal ad scan while Walmart will opt against it. Both will carry over many of their Black Friday offerings to Cyber Monday. So don’t panic if you miss a deal first time around.
I will be post daily updates throughout the 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season and publishing my recommendations. To follow this either bookmark my author page, or hit the Follow button at the top of that page which will give you instant updates when I publish so you stay in the loop.
More Of My Black Friday Coverage On Forbes