The days of scouring Thanksgiving Day newspaper circulars for the best Black Friday deals are long gone.
Last week the two behemoths of brick-and-mortar CE retail — Best Buy and Walmart — both digitally broke their holiday weekend ads, to the chagrin of the deal sites that prefer to leak them.
So what are they key takeaways?
1. Both chains will be open on Thanksgiving, with Best Buy starting an hour earlier at 5 p.m.
2. Both chains will make almost all of their Black Friday inventory available online as well, reflecting major investments in e-commerce catch-up.
3. Both chains will make TVs the lead enticements, with Best Buy touting a 60-inch Samsung 4K/UHD TV for $800, and Walmart offering up a pair of deeply discounted tier-three televisions on the respective front pages of their ads.
Where the competitors differ, however, could prove equally critical: This year Best Buy is offering free shipping throughout the holiday season, regardless of order size, while Walmart, which commands a far vaster assortment, will continue to ask for at least a $50 spend before picking up the delivery tab.
Let the games begin.
A complete compendium of retailers’ best-laid Black Friday plans appears and online at TWICE.com.