Walmart is kicking off Black Friday immediately -- but there's a catch

Walmart just kicked off some of its Black Friday deals more than two weeks in advance of the shopping holiday.

But there’s a small catch: the deals are only available to users of Walmart’s app for now.

The discounts available through the app include a Hitachi 65-inch 4K Ultra HDTV for $599 ($400 savings), an Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Console with Bonus Controller for $279 ($20 savings) and an Acer 15.6-inch Core i5 Laptop for $299 ($150 savings).

The rest of Walmart’s Black Friday deals will become available to all customers online at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the company said.

The in-store event featuring “doorbuster” deals — like $230 off a $628 Samsung 50-inch Smart 4KTV will kick off at 6 p.m. that day, which is in line with what the company did last year.

Some industry experts have said that the significance of Black Friday is diminishing as an increasing number of retailers start offering holiday discounts days and weeks in advance of the shopping day.

But Walmart Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Bratspies said that Black Friday is still the biggest shopping event of the year.

“We think it’s still the biggest event in retail that customers get really excited about,” he said in a call with reporters Wednesday.

In preparation for this year’s demand, the retailer has increased its Black
Friday merchandise by 50% on over last year.

“I said it before and I will say it again, we will win the season on price — on Black Friday, on Cyber Monday and every day before and after,” Bratspies said. “That means delivering the Black Friday deals we’re known for in stores, online and on our app. And, we’ve secured significant availability of these items. We pride ourselves on not being the retailer who advertises a great price and then only has a few available.”

Here’s Walmart’s top Black Friday deals that will be available in stores and online on Thanksgiving, according to the company:

  • 11 Televisions including 4K Ultra HDTVs, such as a Phillips 55-inch Smart 4KTV for $298 (special buy) and a Samsung 50-inch Smart 4KTV for $398 ($230 savings). Other television offers consist of a Vizio 60-inch HDTV for $398 (special buy), a 40-inch HDTV for $125 (special buy) and 50-inch HDTV for $225 (special buy).
  • Toys including the toy of the season, Hatchimals, for $48.88, Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Dreams Dollhouse with Furniture for $88 ($61 savings), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RC Mikey for $39 (a Walmart exclusive at a $10 savings) and Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard for $273 ($125 savings).
  • Drones including the DJI Drone Phantom Standard 3 for $369 ($130 savings), Promark 3D Virtual Reality HD Drone for $99 (a Walmart exclusive at a $49 savings) and Sharper Image Video Drone for $30 (special buy).
  • Connected Home items such as the Nest 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat for $199 ($50 savings) and Nest Cam for $149 ($50 savings).
  • Video Game Consoles and Games like the PlayStation 4 Slim Uncharted 4 500GB bundle for $249 ($50 savings) plus a $30 gift card and the Xbox One S White 500GB Battlefield bundle for $249 ($50 savings). Walmart will also offer nearly 90 video games starting at $8.
  • A $99 iPhone 5s 16GB on Straight Talk Wireless ($50 savings).
  • 10 Laptops and Tablets including the Samsung Chromebook 3 for $119 (special buy), HP 15.6-inch Touch Laptop for $249 (special buy) and iPad Mini 2 32GB for $199 ($70 savings).
  • More than 750 DVDs and Blu-ray Movies starting at $1.96.
  • Fitness Wearables including the Fitbit Charge 2 for $129 ($20 savings), Fitbit Alta for $99 ($30 savings) and Fitbit Flex 2 for $69 ($30 savings).
  • Pajamas and Slippers such as $4.75 Licensed Kids Pajamas and $7 Ladies’ Novelty Character or Emoji Slippers (special buy).
  • Home and Outdoor Favourites including $9.76 kitchen appliances (special buy), Hotel Style 1,100 Thread Count Sheet Set for $25 (special buy), Hotel Style Down Alternative Comforter for $20 (special buy) and Pioneer Woman 27-piece Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware Set for $89 (special buy). Walmart will also offer a Blackstone 2-Burner Propane Griddle or Expert Grill 4-Burner Propane Grill, available for $99 each (special buy).
  • A 14-foot Trampoline Combo (includes mini ball and hoop) for $159 (special buy).

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