Walmart Offering Earlier Deals, Snacks, Maps for Black Friday Shopping

Walmart Nov. 8 announced Black Friday deals along with plans to start the deals on Walmart.com at 10 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 21, two hours earlier, among other shopping enhancements.

Walmart.com has more than a dozen Black Friday deals available now, including a Sharp 55-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV at $299; a Sharp 50-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV at $249; and a RCA 65-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV at $399.

Nov. 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time, the retailer will launch “Light Up Black Friday” parties for customers, giving away 4 million cups of complimentary coffee courtesy of Keurig and nearly 2 million free Christmas cookies from the Walmart Bakery, according to the retailer.

At 6 p.m. local time, the in-store event begins with new tools for shopping, including enhanced Black Friday store maps in the Walmart app and “Check Out With Me” associates. The app’s store map feature will transition to a Black Friday version from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Shoppers can browse the Black Friday circular on the app, select an item and its location will appear on the Black Friday store map. The Black Friday store map will also include pins that direct shoppers to the top eight Black Friday deals. Key departments, such as toys, electronics, home and apparel, will once again be color coded in the Black Friday event circular, in the app store map and on printed maps distributed in stores, as well as in stores on event night with balloons, signs and associates in colored vests. “Check Out With Me” associates — identifiable with a yellow sash — will be placed in key areas of the store.

“There really is no bigger or better day of the year than Black Friday; that’s why we are pulling out all the stops to make it a great night for our customers,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “We’re more confident than ever that our customers will find incredible prices on everything on their holiday wish list at Walmart. And with deep availability of these items in our stores and new features like color-coded Black Friday Store Maps in the Walmart app and Check Out With Me, as well as earlier access to the deals online, it’s never been easier for customers to shop – and save – at Walmart on Black Friday.”

Among the Black Friday deals are the PS4 1TB Slim Spider-Man Bundle ($199); the Sharp/TCL 65-inche Class 4K Roku Smart TV ($398); the Hisense 40-inch Class 1080p TV ($99); and the Xbox ONE S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle ($199). The retailer will also offer hundreds of disc titles at prices from $1.96 to $9.96 each.

Roku Bows New 4K Players, Operating System Upgrades

Roku Sept. 24 announced it is expanding its streaming player lineup with the addition of two new devices – the new Roku Premiere and the new Roku Premiere+.

The Roku Premiere ($39.99) and Roku Premiere+ ($49.99) offer streaming video in HD, 4K Ultra HD or 4K HDR. The company also announced updates to its ultimate streaming player, the Roku Ultra, which now features premium JBL headphones and priced at $99.99.

“Tens of millions of 4K TVs will be sold this year; we’re seeing more content, even live sports, produced and streamed in 4K and HDR as each week goes by,” Lloyd Klarke, director of product management at Roku, said in a statement.

Roku Premiere features immersive picture quality in HD, 4K Ultra HD and 4K HDR, quad-core processor and low-profile form factor. It includes an HDMI cable, remote control with channel shortcut buttons, Dolby and DTS Digital Surround pass through over HDMI.

Premiere+ includes everything the Premiere offers plus a voice-activated remote with TV power & volume buttons.

Roku Ultra features the lost remote finder that can be set to play popular tones, including ESPN “SportsCenter” or HBO’s “Game of Thrones” theme song beginning in November.

The Roku Premiere is available for pre-order at Roku.com and, along with the Roku Ultra, will be available at all major retailers beginning in early October. The Roku Premiere+ will be available exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com in early October.

Separately, Roku announced a software update for Roku TVs that enables new features for compatibility with upcoming Roku TV Wireless Speakers; and Roku OS 9, a new software release with a variety of enhancements to give users new ways to search and control their entertainment experience.

Roku will soon enable the ability to use Google Assistant devices to control Roku streaming devices. In addition, premium music services Spotify and Pandora Premium support are coming to Roku devices.

“As we broaden the Roku ecosystem, we are in a unique position,” said Ilya Asnis, SVP of Roku OS at Roku. “Our single operating system running across Roku TVs and Roku TV Wireless Speakers give us the ability to innovate how consumers experience audio and entertainment in their homes.”