Updated on Tuesday October 19, 2021: The first two Black Friday flyers from Walmart have been released! You can find both posted down below.
Similar to last year, Walmart’s Black Friday sale will be split up over several different events over the month of November. The first round of deals will run from Wednesday November 3rd through Sunday November 7th. The second round of deals will run from Wednesday November 10th through Sunday November 14th. There will be one more round of Black Friday deals (this will be the main event), likely running from Wednesday November 24th through Friday November 26th, although these dates are not yet officially confirmed. Stores again will be closed on Thanksgiving day itself for the entire day.
What’s new this year is that Walmart will be giving 4-hours early access to their Black Friday sale to all Walmart Plus members. Free trial accounts do not qualify for early access, but for $12.95/month it may be worth signing up because last year many of the popular items sold out online within minutes. And with the current shipping supply chain crisis at our ports, inventory levels may be even worse this year.
As always, we’ll be posting updates to Walmart’s Black Friday sale as they come in to us, including additional ad scans, sale start/end dates and at top deals. Be sure to check back again soon for the latest updates or join our newsletter to stay informed.
Black Friday 2021 Start & End Dates
Last year’s Black Friday sale at Walmart was unlike any other in their history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And this year a similar trend returns. Rather than one big sale and huge in-store doorbuster deals, the sale will once again be spread out into three separate events with different deals offered at each. The focus is on online shopping with free shipping or local contact-free curbside pickup available on most items.
- Event #1: Begins online on Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 7:00PM EST/4:00PM PST and in-stores on Friday November 5, 2021 at 5:00AM local time. The deals will run through Sunday November 7, 2021 or while supplies last. 4-hour online early access will be given to all Walmart+ members which will begin at 3:00PM EST/12:00PM PST.
- Event #2: Begins online on Wednesday November 10, 2021 at 7:00PM EST/4:00PM PST and in stores on Friday November 12, 2021 at 5:00AM local time. The deals will run through Sunday November 14, 2021 or while supplies last. 4-hour online early access will be given to all Walmart+ members which will begin at 3:00PM EST/12:00PM PST.
- Event #3 (times not yet officially confirmed): Expected to begin online on Wednesday November 24, 2021 at 7:00PM ET/4:00PM PT and in stores on Friday November 26, 2021 at 5:00AM local time. The featured deals during this event will likely run through the end of the day on Friday November 26, 2021 or while supplies last. 4-hour online early access will be given to all Walmart+ members.
Keep in mind that all stores nationwide will once again be closed for the entire day on Thanksgiving day itself here in 2021 (stores open again on Black Friday at 5:00AM).
Should I Join Walmart+ for Black Friday?
With Walmart announcing that it will be offering exclusive 4-hour online early access for all Walmart+ members to each of their three planned Black Friday events this year, you may be wondering if it’s worth signing up. But after what many called last year’s Black Friday sale as botched (you can see some of the frustrations vented on our Facebook page), you may not have a choice if you want to secure one of their hottest doorbuster deals.
What happened last year?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Walmart decided to focus their Black Friday sale online with three different Black Friday events spread out over the month of November… exactly like they are doing again this year. The deals were available online a few days before they were in stores, and generally, they did their best not to draw huge crowds in-stores by keeping local store inventory to a bare minimum. Maybe that’s not a bad idea when there’s sufficient online supplies available, the site doesn’t slow down or crash and everything works as planned.
But what happened was that items were instantly being sold out. People on Reddit reported that some hot items literally went “Out if Stock” seconds after the “Add to Cart” came up. And that was not only on PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles that were among the most sought after holiday gifts last year, but also on many of the other doorbuster specials such as TV’s, budget laptops, certain toys and small appliances.
What do we expect this year?
This year’s may be even worse in terms of supply. We’re currently in a supply chain crisis with extended manufacturing lead times and record cargo ship backlogs at some of the largest U.S. ports. There’s a worldwide computer chip shortage. There are price hikes among component parts, there’s record inflation, and high fuel costs. And we’re seeing major companies announcing warnings that we may see empty shelves in certain affected product segments this holiday season. The outlook in the retail industry for the next few months is looking pretty bleak.
Here comes Walmart+ to the rescue.
As with everything in life, challenges also present new opportunities and a chance to reinvent yourself. Walmart is ceasing the moment by offering early access to paid Walmart Plus members to their Black Friday sale. It’s still not guaranteed that the tempting TLC 55” 4K SmartTV featured for $228 on the cover page of their ad will be yours, or any of the other specials featured in this year’s ad, but you’ll definitely have a much better chance on getting it if you can beat out the crowds and be first in line.
It’s worth mentioning, Walmart+ membership is not only about early access to big events. You’ll also get free shipping to your home with no minimum on all purchases, free delivery from your local store on groceries, lower member pricing on fuel at any of their participating gas stations, and discounts on your prescriptions filled at any one of their 4000+ pharmacies.
So how much will Walmart+ cost me?
Walmart Plus membership is available for either $12.95/month or for $98/year if you pay ahead. There’s also a free 15-day trial available to anyone who hasn’t used their service before. But if you’re thinking on using the free trial to gain early access to their Black Friday events then you’re out of luck; Walmart is specific that only paid members can participate.
What should I do?
With the current economic environment and knowing that inventory levels will likely be squeezed this holiday season, buying your way to the front of the line may be your best option this year for any of the sought after doorbusters. Although at the same time, it hurts knowing that you’ll effectively be paying to gain access a good deal… something that in normal times you should never have to do.
But don’t feel bad, it is what it is. And it’s not only Walmart that’s come up a paid a membership program; we’re seeing the same at Best Buy, Amazon and others. All we can hope for is for things to return to normal again after COVID-19 fully passes.
Walmart’s Black Friday Ad #1
You’ll find the complete ad scan for Walmart’s first Black Friday 2021 event posted below. It begins online at walmart.com on Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 7:00PM EST/4:00PM PST and in-stores on Friday November 5, 2021 at 5:00AM local time. The deals will run through Sunday November 7, 2021 or while supplies last. 4-hour online early access will be given to all Walmart+ members which will begin at 3:00PM EST/12:00PM PST on Wednesday November 3, 2021.
Walmart’s Black Friday Ad #2
You’ll find the complete ad scan for Walmart’s second Black Friday 2021 event posted below. It begins online at walmart.com on Wednesday November 10, 2021 at 7:00PM EST/4:00PM PST and in-stores on Friday November 12, 2021 at 5:00AM local time. The deals will run through Sunday November 14, 2021 or while supplies last. 4-hour online early access will be given to all Walmart+ members which will begin at 3:00PM EST/12:00PM PST on Wednesday November 10, 2021.
What to Buy in 2021
You’ll find a lot of similarities in Walmart’s Black Friday doorbuster specials to the ones at Kohl’s and Target. Our team has been tracking all of these stores for a number of years now and we’ve noticed that the specials tend to repeat themselves from year to year. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for at Walmart’s Black Friday 2021 sale:
- Gaming Consoles & Games — Odds are that you weren’t able to pick up a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X during last year’s holiday season. There were just none to be found and the few folks that managed to get one somehow were price gouging them on eBay. This year is expected to be completely different, but we’ll have to wait until Walmart’s 3rd and final ad to see these deals. We are also expecting deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games and accessories as well.
- TV’s — You’ll find a ton of TV’s on sale from all the big-box stores — from Best Buy to Costco and everyone in-between — on sale during Thanksgiving weekend. Always the doorbuster deals on the front page of the Black Friday ad are the best but that’s also why they tend to sell out quickly, sometimes within minutes of going live (last year we received many comments on our Facebook page from angry folks that couldn’t checkout fast enough with the TV’s they wanted). Our favorite TV this year is the Samsung 55” 4K SmartTV on sale for $478 (it’s in their second BF ad).
- Cellphones — With all the extra gift card opportunities coupled with some of the lowest prices out there, you couldn’t go wrong buying a new phone with either a 2-year contract or prepaid plan. Most of us in the office are more Apple iPhone users so we are a bit biased, but if you like Samsung phones then there is something for you as well. Our favorite deal on Apple this year is on the iPhone 12 Mini on sale for $299 with activation, available on AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless. For Android users, you can pick up either the Samsung Galaxy A32 or Galaxy A42 on sale for $99/each with activation.
- Home Appliances — You’ll notice that about a quarter of Walmart’s Black Friday ad has various home goods items. As as you can imagine, kitchen essentials are still huge sellers as a result of people still working from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That includes deals on Keurig coffee makers, Instant Pot pressure cookers, KitchenAid mixers and iRobot Roomba and Dyson vacuums.
- Apparel — Be on the lookout to stock up on your favorite name-brand clothing from brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Reebok, Puma, Wrangler, Levi’s, and others. And if you don’t mind the store-brand apparel, especially for your kid’s clothing that they will destroy either way, then Walmart will likely be your best store to pick up the bargains.
- General merchandise — The last few pages of Walmart’s Black Friday ad has all the other stuff that don’t match their other categories. This is actually a section you shouldn’t overlook as you can deals on some things most people don’t typically buy during the Fall/Winter season. For example, in their second ad you’ll find the Blackstone 22” Adventure Ready Griddle on sale for $117. Maybe Blackstone is not as well know as Weber or Char-Broil but it looks like a pretty good cooker.
- Toys — Last but not least, you’ve got lots of toys on sale. Our favorites include the Rainbow High Dolls 6 Pack on sale for $64, the variety of boardgames on sale for $5/each, the Barbie Dream Camper on sale for $60 and the Disney Princess Play Kitchen on sale for $34.
Are you interested in seeing some of Walmart’s older Black Friday ads? Then follow the links below to view the last few years of ad scan/flyer history.
- 2021: Event #1: page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Event #2: page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
- 2020: Event #1: page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Event #2: page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Event #3 (main event!): page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
- 2019: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38.
- 2018: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.
- 2017: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.
- 2016: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34.
What do you plan on getting at Walmart over Black Friday weekend? A new TV? Some toys for your kids? Let us know in the comments below.