Best Buy Black Friday Deals Start

Best Buy Oct. 19-22 is offering hundreds of Black Friday deals available on tech, including everything from headphones to laptops and TVs.

Deals include $599 for a Samsung 70-inch 4K Smart TV ($150 savings), $169 for Beats Studio 3 headphones in matte black ($180 savings), Chromebooks as low as $99, Windows laptops as low as $189.99, and $540 savings on Samsung appliances.

Deals are covered by a Black Friday Price Guarantee, which means the price won’t go lower before Black Friday, according to Best Buy. Best Buy will automatically refund My Best Buy and Best Buy Totaltech members the difference. If the price goes lower before Black Friday and customers are not a member of My Best Buy or Best Buy Totaltech, they can still be reimbursed by visiting their local store or contacting the Best Buy customer care team and requesting a price match under our Price Match Guarantee, according to the chain.

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At Best Buy, Black Friday starts a week early on Nov. 19. Best Buy stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25. Customers who would still like to shop that day can shop on BestBuy.com or through the Best Buy app.

Walmart+ Members Getting Early Access to Black Friday Deals

Walmart has announced the return of its month-long savings event, “Black Friday Deals for Days,” this time with something extra for Walmart+ members.

Paying Walmart+ members will receive early access to online Black Friday events throughout November — an opportunity to shop all the deals four hours earlier than the scheduled start times for all three events.

“We continue to build Walmart+ to be the ultimate life hack for our customers,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer for Walmart U.S. in a statement. “That means we’re there for our customers during the everyday with key benefits like free unlimited delivery from stores and free shipping with no order minimum, but it also means we create extra excitement for them during the big moments, like Black Friday. We’re excited for our Walmart+ members to be first in line for the hottest Black Friday deals out there.”

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As it did last year, Walmart will spread out its Black Friday savings to three events throughout November to offer customers the sale prices. Each savings event will begin online at Walmart.com and continue with the same deals in Walmart stores.

“Our customers count on us to deliver an amazing Black Friday experience with the best prices year after year, and this year we’re making it even bigger and better with more ways to shop and more of every item,” Scott McCall, EVP and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “The team has worked hard to prepare for another outstanding holiday season, and no matter how or where our customers choose to shop — from the shelf in a store, ordering online and picking it up curbside or having it delivered to their front door — they can depend on us for a safe and convenient shopping experience.”

Walmart will have more of every event product available so as many customers as possible can take advantage of the season’s best deals, according to the retailer. Walmart customers will discover savings on new items from top brands, such as Samsung, Reebok, Apple and Keurig, and deals on hundreds of exclusive items that can only be found at Walmart and Walmart.com, according to the company.

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Deals beginning online Nov. 3 and continuing in stores Nov. 5 include savings on toys and electronics during its first Black Friday event. Starting online at Walmart.com on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. ET, customers can purchase items such as a 55-inch TCL 4K Roku TV for $228, the L.O.L. Surprise! Amazing Surprise Doll set for $64, and the always popular Keurig K-Compact for $35. The first set of deals also features Walmart’s tire savings events, including Goodyear tires at $20 off with a free tire balance. Deals continue in stores starting Nov. 5 at 5 a.m. local time. Walmart+ members get early access to deals from 3 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 3.

Deals beginning online Nov. 10 and continuing in stores Nov. 12 include sales on apparel, home goods, hardlines and more. Deals start online at Walmart.com on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. ET and continue in stores beginning Nov. 12 at 5 a.m. local time. During the second sale, customers can take advantage of savings on items such as an exclusive Blackstone 22-inch Griddle with a hard cover and carrying case for $117, Walmart’s exclusive HP i3 Laptop for $279, and a Shark EZ Robot Vacuum for $288. Walmart+ members get early access to deals from 3 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 10.

Walmart will wrap up the month with a third event that “will bring its biggest, best savings of the season for the most exciting shopping day of the year,” according to the retailer.

Customers can shop thousands of deals available right now on Walmart.com, plus Black Friday savings on select items starting Oct. 18 at 8:15 p.m. ET, while supplies last, according to the retailer. Early Black Friday deals include:

  • Ninja 4QT Air Fryer at $69
  • 55-inch TCL Smart 4K UHDTV at $298
  • Bounce Pro 14-foot Trampoline at $184
  • Lego 442-piece Classic Bricks on a Roll at $20

 

The Walmart+ membership is $98 a year or $12.95 a month. In addition to early Black Friday savings, Walmart+ members also get free shipping with no order minimum on items shipped by Walmart, free delivery from store, Rx for Less, and mobile Scan and Go to make shopping even faster.

Amazon Eyeing Black Friday NFL Game

On the heels of Amazon’s reported $1.2 billion annual deal with the National Football League for exclusive rights to all 15 “Thursday Night Football,” games for 11 years beginning in 2023, comes news the e-commerce behemoth is looking to possibly add a game on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

That speculation comes from Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and member of the NFL management committee that secured a record $113 billion in collective TV/media contract fees from Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and Amazon.

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Speaking to “The Peter King Podcast” on NBC Sports’ “Pro Football Talk,” Kraft said Amazon was looking for a perk since it is spending double what Fox paid for the previous rights, and there is no “Thursday Night Football” on Thanksgiving. That’s because the NFL has a long tradition (since 1934) showcasing the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, and other teams, on the last Thursday in November.

“Amazon [will] dedicate tremendous resources to make this work for them and for us,” Kraft said. “Who knows, maybe we’ll play a game on Black Friday, their biggest shopping day of the year?”

The NFL live-streamed its first game on Oct. 25, 2015, on Yahoo Sports from London featuring the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since then, over-the-top video has exploded while the traditional linear TV bundle has declined.

“Today, you are able to watch an original film that won an Oscar on the same site that you buy your toothpaste,” added Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer with the NFL.

While Amazon has made no official announcement, the NFL has been reluctant to play on Friday due to the league’s 60-year antitrust exemption via the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 negotiating media contracts. The NFL, and other sports leagues, over the years have survived legislative attempts to rescind those antitrust exemptions.

Last year, for the first time in 10 years, the NFL scheduled a game on Friday, Dec. 25 between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

 

Thanksgiving Discounts Push ‘Joker’ Back to No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts

Warner’s Joker returned to the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, as well as the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Nov. 28.

The film, based on the Batman villain from DC Comics, was previously the top title for a week in January upon its release on DVD and Blu-ray. It had been No. 2 in the week leading up to Black Friday, and retailers extending deep discount deals earlier in the week due to the coronavirus pandemic, including on home media, was enough to push it to the top of the sales charts.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 65% of Joker sales for the week.

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Disney’s live-action Mulan, which had topped disc sales the previous two weeks, fell to No. 7 on both charts.

No new releases made it onto the top 50 chart for the week, with the possible exception of Paramount’s Nov. 24 re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog as a limited-edition Blu-ray with collector’s cards containing photos and art from the film. It was No. 4 on the overall sales chart and No. 2 on the Blu-ray chart.

Several holiday favorites continue to sell well in the lead-up to Christmas.

No. 2 on the overall sales chart, selling 96% as many copies as the top title, was Universal’s 2018 animated movie The Grinch, based on the classic Dr. Seuss tale. It was No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart.

No. 3 on both charts was Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection.

No. 5 on the overall sales chart was Home Alone, a 20th Century Studios movie now owned by Disney.

Other Holiday discs in the top 20 include Warner’s Elf at No. 9 (No. 19 on the Blu-ray chart), Warner’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at No. 11 (No. 17 BD), 20th Century’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York at No. 14 and Warner’s The Polar Express at No. 17.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 29, Disney’s Mulan remake returned to the top spot, pushing Lionsgate’s Unhinged to No. 2.

Paramount’s new comedy Buddy Games debuted at No. 3, while 20th Century’s The New Mutants dropped to No. 4. Newcomer Iron Mask, from Lionsgate, debuted at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-28-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-29-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-28-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-28-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-28-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 11-30-20

NRF: Movie DVDs Among Top-Selling Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Items; Shopping Traffic Down Slightly

An estimated 186.4 million consumers took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend price discounts and shopped in-store and online this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

After toys, books, music, movie DVDs, video games (29%), gift cards/certificates (29%) and electronics (27%) ranked among top-selling items, according to a survey of 6,615 adult consumers conducted Nov. 25-30 .

While the overall number of shoppers from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday dropped slightly from 189.6 million in an unusually robust 2019, this figure is still significantly higher than the 165.8 million shoppers in 2018.

“As expected, consumers have embraced an earlier start to the holiday shopping season, but many were also prepared to embrace a long-standing tradition of turning out online and in stores over Thanksgiving weekend to make gift purchases for family and friends,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

Black Friday and Saturday saw strong growth in online activity. For the first time, the number of online Black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, up 8% over last year. The number of online Saturday shoppers grew even more, up 17% compared with last year. Online-only shoppers increased by 44% for the entire weekend, for a total of 95.7 million.

With retailers enticing consumers with generous deals as early as October, more than half (52%) of holiday shoppers said they took advantage of early holiday sales and promotions this year. Of those, 38 percent said they checked off holiday purchases in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. More than half (53%) felt the promotions over the weekend were the same as they had been earlier in the season.

As expected, in-store shopping was down given both the state of the pandemic as well as the number of retailers who opted to close on Thanksgiving Day. With consumer traffic moving to online channels, the number of in-store shoppers on Thanksgiving Day dropped by 55% from last year and those on Black Friday dropped by 37%. An earlier NRF survey found that a large majority (70%) of holiday shoppers say they feel safe shopping in stores this holiday season given the precautions retailers have taken for COVID-19.

Over the five-day period, shoppers spent an average of $311.75 on holiday-related purchases such as gifts or decorations, down from last year’s total of $361.90 but comparable to 2018’s $313.29. Of that amount, nearly three-quarters ($224.48) was spent directly on gifts.

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Consumers have continued to stress the importance of holidays throughout this year. In fact, the majority of holiday shoppers (55%) said recent developments around COVID-19 cases had no impact on their holiday spending plans this year. Most (51%) also feel that given the pandemic, they are more interested in holiday decorations and seasonal items. They were also eager to support small businesses, as 77% indicated they were more interested in doing so this year.

“The growth in online activity this year was significant, particularly for Black Friday and Saturday shoppers,” said Phil Rist, EVP of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics. “With the start to the holiday shopping season continuing to move up even earlier, consumers will further utilize these channels.”

Shopping destinations included department stores (visited by 40% of those surveyed), grocery stores (39%), clothing stores (33%) and electronics stores (31%).

Although consumers have embraced the earlier start to the holiday shopping season, their lists are not quite complete. Holiday shoppers have about half of their shopping left to do and 91% expect they will continue to see great deals throughout the rest of the season.

NRF defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and has forecast that sales will increase between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019 to a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. Over the 2020 holiday season, NRF expects that online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, will increase between 20% and 30%. In total consumers plan to spend $997.79 on gifts, holiday items and additional “non-gift” purchases for themselves and their families this year, according to NRF’s annual survey released in October.

Black Friday Online Sales Soar; Retail Traffic Plummets

As expected, ongoing consumer trends toward e-commerce and away from shopping malls magnified during a pandemic. New data from Adobe Analytics saw a 22% year-over-year increase in online sales on Black Friday (Nov. 27), the official start to the winter retail season.

The research firm, citing data from 80 of the top 100 online retail sites, said e-commerce revenue reached $9 billion the day after Thanksgiving, compared with $7.4 billion during the previous-year period. Adobe said it was the second-highest online revenue day since Cyber Monday 2019 when revenue reached $9.4 billion. This year’s Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) is projected to top $10.8 billion, up 15% from last year.

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Meanwhile, e-commerce’s gain was brick-and-mortar’s drain. Preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions indicated consumer visits to retail stores on Black Friday dropped 51.2% compared with 2019. Shopper traffic also decreased 45.2% week-to-date (Sunday, Nov. 22 to Friday, Nov. 27) compared with the same period last year.

“Due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, shoppers were more purposeful in their in-person Black Friday shopping, causing significantly less crowds than we’ve seen in the past,” Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting at Sensormatic Solutions, said in a statement. “This was compounded by retailers not offering as many in-store doorbusters and the increasing adoption of e-commerce.”

While many retailers limited their Black Friday hours compared to non-pandemic years, the peak time for shopping remained the same, with the busiest influx of footfall around 2 p.m., according to Sensormatic.

“As we approach ‘Super Saturday’ (Dec. 19), and corresponding shipping deadlines, we expect to see some of the in-store traffic that didn’t materialize on Black Friday appear as consumers wrap up their holiday shopping and make last-minute purchases,” Field said.

The research firm expects the 10 busiest shopping days of 2020 to account for 34.2% of all holiday traffic as compared to 46.5% in 2019. The days include:

  1. Friday, Nov. 27 — Black Friday
  2. Saturday, Dec. 19 — Super Saturday
  3. Saturday, Dec. 26 — Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day,” in some global regions
  4. Wednesday, Dec. 23 — Wednesday before Christmas
  5. Saturday, Dec. 12 — Second Saturday in December
  6. Monday, Dec. 21 — Monday before Christmas
  7. Saturday, Nov. 28 — Saturday after Thanksgiving
  8. Tuesday, Dec. 22 — Tuesday before Christmas
  9. Saturday, Dec. 5 — First Saturday in December
  10. Sunday, Dec. 20 — Sunday before Christmas

As COVID-19 Surges, Black Friday Crowds Don’t

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed this year’s Black Friday retail shopping frenzy, in which hordes of shoppers typically camp out overnight waiting for stores to open early on the morning after Thanksgiving — or, in recent years, start shopping right after they finish their turkey dinners.

Not this year.

With COVID-19 surging in what health experts are calling a third wave of the disease, none of the big retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day — not even Walmart, which used to be open all day, or Target and Best Buy, which opened for business in the late afternoon or at midnight.

The big retailers also began offering their deep discounts several weeks before Black Friday, often targeting online shoppers with Web-only specials. And the year’s hottest gift item, Sony’s new PlayStation 5 video game console, saw gamers glued to the Internet to watch for alerts on Twitter and other social media channels about the next wave of consoles available at the various retailers, mostly for online purchase.

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“One thing that is happening, and has been happening for awhile, is the past couple of years, we’ve seen Black Friday deals moving more and more online,” Amir Neto, director of Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University, told USA Today. “This year, there are more incentives to maintain or expand this trend.”

Adobe Analytics on Nov. 27 reported that online spending on Thanksgiving Day rose by nearly 22% to reach a new record of $5.1 billion, from $4.1 billion last year. The research firm said November and December online sales are expected to jump 33% this year, totaling $189 billion, including $10.3 billion on Black Friday.

Aside from the big retail players, Family Video, the last remaining national chain of dedicated video stores, sent out an email early Friday morning offering discounts of up to 75% on Warner Bros. DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD titles, including Aquaman, The Dark Knight, Inception, Doctor Sleep, 12 Strong and Annabelle. “You will not find better Black Friday deals on Blu-rays, DVDs, and 4K Blu-rays from Warner Bros. anywhere else!” the Family Video email read, noting that the sale ends Nov. 30.

Meanwhile, with physical stores having offered discounts all week, reports on Black Friday itself suggest the early rush to physical retail stores is more of a trickle this year. A Target store in Costa Mesa, Calif., was practically empty shortly after 7 a.m. on Nov. 27. “It looks like any other day,” said one observer.

Target is running a buy-two-get-one-free promotion on books, movies and music. Blu-rays and DVDs could be had for as low as $4, $7 and $9. Signs were placed not only in the electronics area, but in some stores displays were put in the clothing section in the center of the store and at checkout. One customer in Mission Viejo, Calif., noted that the sales weren’t as prevalent as previous years.

At a Costa Mesa Best Buy, there were fewer than two dozen people waiting in a socially distant line, a far cry from prior years.

In Oceanside, Calif., a Walmart was a little busier, but the traditional DVD and Blu-ray Disc “dump bins,” featuring catalog movie titles priced as low as $2 to $5, were conspicuously absent. “It’s really slow,” a clerk said.

The movie aisle at an Oceanside, Calif. Walmart on Black Friday 2020, shortly before 9 a.m.

Chicago resident Maria Lopez, who often shops on Black Friday, said she was only visiting one store this year out of concerns of contracting the coronavirus. Lopez bought a 42-inch television from Best Buy.
“It’s so sad,” Lopez told the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve been out since 6 a.m. and there were no long lines. It’s definitely not the same like years prior.”

And yet the National Retail Federation earlier in the week  forecast that total holiday sales during November and December would be up by as much as 5.2% from the same period last year, generating $755.3 billion to $766.7 billion in revenue. The data, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compares with a 4% increase in 2019, and an average holiday sales gain of 3.5% over the past five years.

“We know this holiday season will be unlike any other, and retailers have planned ahead by investing billions of dollars to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers,” Matthew Shay, CEO of the retail trade group, said in a statement. “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year.”

NRF expects that online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, will increase between 20% and 30% to between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion, up from $168.7 billion last year.

“Given the pandemic, there is uncertainty about consumers’ willingness to spend, but with the economy improving most have the ability to spend,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Redbox is participating in the Black Friday discounting frenzy with specials across all its platforms, physical as well as online. Through the weekend, the retailer is offering customers who rent two discs at its more than 40,000 kiosks 50 cents off, as well as “price drops” on digital rentals through Redbox On Demand. Redbox also is hosting a used movie sale at “select kiosks,” selling off previously viewed copies of films such as Trolls World Tour ($3.99), The Tax Collector ($5.99) and Justice League ($3.99).

On the streaming front, NBCUniversal as a Black Friday special offered 20% off access to the Peacock subscription streaming service, while Hulu launched a discounted $1.99 monthly promotion at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. The campaign gives new and returning subscribers 12-month access to the ad-supported Hulu option, which amounts to a $48 savings over the recently reduced $5.99 monthly fee (from $7.99). The ad-free subscription plan remains priced at $11.99 monthly.

Additional reporting by John Latchem and Stephanie Prange

NPD: Consumer Tech Revenue Up 37% Through 6 Weeks of Q4

Heading into the Black Friday retail holiday weekend and consumer technology sales are already booming, according to new data from The NPD Group. The week ended Nov. 20 was the second-highest revenue sales week of the pandemic period — bested only by Amazon Prime Week (week ended Oct. 17). As expected, TV sales led the industry for the second straight week.

NPD said notebook PCs sales increased 32% through Nov. 20, followed by tablets (up 52%); routers (+80%); sound bars and mounts (+50%); and cell phone accessories (cases, protectors and mobile power), up 32%.

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The research group contends year-over-year growth of 2.5% to 3.4% during the traditional holiday period of November and December, across general merchandise categories.

The group also claims year-over-year growth of 4.3% to 5.1% during the new holiday period, beginning in mid-October with early promotions, running through mid-January with gift card redemption, and spanning a broader view of NPD’s discretionary categories.

The NPD Group says consumers plan to spend an average of $691 during the 2020 holiday shopping season, which is less than last year’s anticipated holiday spending, but on par with 2018’s.

The hottest industries of 2020 — tech and home — will continue their momentum through the holidays with significant growth, but holiday staples will see stability compared to last year. Half of consumers plan to buy clothing/footwear/accessories as gifts this year.

Half of consumers plan to purchase intangible items/experiences as gifts for the upcoming holiday season — food subscriptions and streaming service subscriptions lead the list, and gift cards will be particularly popular.

Another 41% of consumers cited Black Friday/Thanksgiving Weekend/Cyber Monday as the period when they thought they would get the best deals of the season. About 80% of consumers plan to shop online, but shoppers still plan to make 42% of holiday purchases in a store.

For the first time, free shipping surpassed special sale price as the number one factor influencing where consumers decide to shop this holiday — cited by 41% of holiday shoppers. About 42% of holiday shoppers will be shipping most gifts because they won’t be seeing family and friends as a result of COVID-19 precautions.

Another 57% of shoppers rate the state of the economy poorly (up from 37% last year), and 30% say they will spend less because of the state of the economy (up from 23% in 2019), but consumer feelings about their personal financial situation has not changed since 2019.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic will prompt 40% of consumers to spend more on gifts to bring joy during challenging times; 31% of consumers say they will do more self-gifting as pandemic-related retail therapy.

Peacock Streaming Service Offering 20% Black Friday Sub Discount; Free Access to Original Content

NBCUniversal is joining in on Black Friday (Nov. 27) price discounts by offering 20% off access to the Peacock subscription streaming service throughout the post-Thanksgiving retail event.

While Peacock offers a free, ad-supported option, NBCUniversal is offering the Premium tier with some ads for $39.99 for the year, or $89.99 without ads. The two options normally cost $60 and $99 per year, respectively.

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Separately, Peacock is offering free access in December to select original content, including “Departure” (Dec. 3-9); “The Capture” (Dec. 10-16); “Five Bedrooms” (Dec. 17-23) and “Brave New World” (Dec. 24-30).

Peacock represents NBCUniversal’s foray into both the SVOD and AVOD markets — both seen as the future of content distribution. The platform reached 22 million subscribers through Oct. 29. The tally increased by 7 million subs thanks to an app distribution agreement with Roku hammered out in mid-September. Total Peacock subs now top Comcast’s legacy cable TV business.

Merchandising: Stores Reconfigure for ‘Black Friday’

Preparations for annual Black Friday sales left retailers mostly ignoring the new DVD and Blu-ray disc releases of Nov. 24, not that the list had many notable titles to begin with.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and a desire to cut down on the massive crowds that typically show up for the bargains offered the day after Thanksgiving, stores have been offering special discounts for most of the month already. This week, however, has seen merchandise configurations more akin to what a Black Friday would typically look like.

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For instance, a Target in Tustin, Calif., set up cardboard displays of catalog DVDs and Blu-rays near the front of the store in what is usually an area for women’s clothing. Target is running a buy-two-get-one-free promotion on books, movies and music. Blu-rays and DVDs could be had for as low as $4, $7 and $9.

A Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., had a sizeable line the evening of Nov. 24, which is likely more due to a resurgence of pandemic restrictions limiting the number of guests allowed in the store. Best Buy’s deals include select Blu-rays for $5.99; Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays for $7.99 or $9.99; Disney movies starting at $9.99; and collectible Steelbooks for $14.99.

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