Sears vs. Walmart on Black Friday: And the Winner Is...

Bob Ulrich
Posted on November 26, 2015

It's not exactly Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey, but Sears vs. Walmart on Black Friday is a pretty good match.

With one day before traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, known as Black Friday, both Sears Holding Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are looking for tire sales. Their national advertising campaigns included competing inserts in the Akron Beacon Journal; as you may remember, Sears hasn't advertised tire prices for years.

Here are the vitals:

Sears Auto Centers

Brands: Roadhandler, Goodyear, Michelin, BFGoodrich.

Sale: buy 3 Roadhandlers, get  1 free, "up to $400 in savings and value."

Good through: Nov. 27 at 1 p.m.

Catch: Must purchase installation, defined as mounting and balancing.

Secondary sale(s): buy 4 Goodyear tires, get $70 off, plus a $50 Sears reward card; buy 4 Michelin or BFGoodrich tires, get up to $70 by mail-in rebate via Mastercard prepaid debit card, plus a $50 Sears reward card.

Service ads: $17.99 for a conventional oil change; 25% off automotive services.

Sears also gives its rewards program members points that can be redeemed for other purchases. In the case of the tires, the points, worth $100, have to be used within 90 days.

Walmart Tire & Lube Express

Brand: Goodyear.

Sale:

* $44 on 195/70R14 Integrity;

* $54 on various lines ranging from sizes 195/60R15 (Eagle RS-A) to 215/70R15 (Integrity);

* $64 on various lines ranging from sizes 205/55R16 (Eagle LS) to 205/70R15 (Signature II);

* $79 on 225/50R17 and 215/55R17 (Signature II);

* $109 on 265/70R16 (Wrangler RT/S) and $119 on 265/70R17 (Wrangler AT/S).

Good through: Nov. 29 (4-day tire price guarantee).

Catch: None that I can see.

Secondary sale: None.

Service ads: None.

The in-store deals are the same as the online deals, although online, Walmart says what the previous price was -- for example, $71 on the 195/70R14 Integrity.

So, who will win this battle? I think the average consumer likes to see prices on what they are buying -- big point to Walmart. However, they also like "coupons" or to know what they are saving -- point to Sears (although the mail-in rebates for the Michelin and BFGoodrich tires are not as enticing).

Sears isn't limited by sizes -- big point to Sears, but Walmart apparently doesn't require any installation -- point to Walmart.

In a related matter, Walmart has fewer limitations -- point to Walmart. However, Sears advertises automotive service deals, which also could lead to tire sales -- point to Sears.

Despite the limitations, Sears is offering deales on more brands -- point to Sears. Walmart focuses on what arguably is the most well-known brand in the U.S., while Sears emphasizes its private brand -- point to Walmart.

Walmart started its sale at 6 p.m. on Thursday, while Sears began at 5 a.m. on Friday. The point for that one depends on consumer preference, but because Walmart's sale lasts longer, I will give the point to Walmart.

So, who won the battle on Black Friday for consumer sales based on their advertising, Sears or Walmart? Walmart wins out in my point total, but it really seems to be a wash.

There is one big, big winner, however: Goodyear. I guess that makes today a "good" Friday!

Oh, and I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 4 )
  • See all comments
  • Zed Cartwright

     | about 7 months ago

    notice how these people mark up the regular price right before their sale to make it look like you are getting a great deal? I bought a TV from Best Buy for $329 a month ago. I went in to Best Buy and they had the same TV on pre Black Friday sale for $277. The sales clerk claimed the regular price was $399 to make it look like a huge savings. I told her that I bought one a month earlier for $329 and she admitted they were lying. The tire sales are probably going to be similar gimmicks. You may save a little but after all is done you likely won't be getting a windfall. Another thing is they advertise 4 tires for price of 3 or at a reduced price, but your choice is usually limited to their selection of brand and sizes so they get a lot of people going in looking for a deal only to find what they want is not on their list and some buy anyway. So another gimmick to gin up business.

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