Do some Black Friday deals smell stale to you? That’s probably because they are. With all the hype around Black Friday, you might expect retailers to wow their customers with new and better deals when the event rolls around again. This year, however, few retailers actually upped the ante with their offerings.
But lack of deal originality won’t stop Americans from raiding their favorite stores. With fresh bargains in mind, WalletHub compared America’s most beloved retailers to determine which ones offer truly unique deals in 2019, not just rehashes of old promotions. Scroll down for the winners, additional commentary from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
If you want to get a head start on your bargain hunting, make sure to peek at our 2019 Black Friday Ads: Find the Best Deals report and sign up for a WalletHub account to receive a free personalized holiday budget. Plus, you can find fun and interesting facts about the holiday that kickstarts the shopping madness in our Thanksgiving Fun Facts infographic.
% of Recycled Deals in 2019
2019 Avg. Price Difference on Recycled Deals (%)
% of Recycled Deals in 2016
2016 Avg. Price Difference on Recycled Deals (%)
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||30.5%||7.3%||20.5%||-4.0%|
*To keep our data presentation straightforward, we compared the 2019 and 2018 prices of only one item per store. Each retailer actually recycled more deals than those shown above and in some cases had different price points. Source: BFAds.net
Consumer behavior plays a big part in the way retailers make Black Friday deals available to the public. Research firm Brand Keys points out that consumers over the years have realized that holiday shopping doesn’t begin the day after Thanksgiving. As a result, retailers have adapted to these new habits out of fear of losing sales to their competitors. We asked a panel of experts to weigh in on this system of promotion. Click on the experts’ profiles to read their bios and responses to the following key questions:
- Why do retailers repeat the same Black Friday deals year after year?
- Do you think the retailers who choose to remain closed — or have limited business hours — on Black Friday will be hurt or helped by this strategy?
- Do you think mail-in rebates are as effective as direct discounts in attracting customers?
- All things considered, are Black Friday discounts worth the hassle?
Ask the Experts
In order to identify the retailers with the most and least recycled deals, WalletHub compared the 2018 and 2019 printed ads from 22 of the top U.S. retailers in terms of the proportion of deals they recycled this year and the difference in prices for those offers from Black Friday 2018. Our sample excludes deals that did not have calculable percentage markdowns and those for which Amazon.com did not provide all requested details.
We then calculated the total percentage of deals recycled from the previous year for all retailers as well as the percentage of recycled deals by each retailer and highlighted the average price difference, if any, for the recycled items.
Sources: Data used to conduct this study were collected from BFAds.net.