There’s really no good way to spin Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid’s decision to collectively block NFC-enabled mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. This is especially true because the merchants’ real reason for blocking these platforms is because they want to instead promote CurrentC, the mobile app developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) that’s significantly less convenient and that collects such a disturbing amount of data that even diehard Google fans are a little creeped out by it. More →
Microsoft may be a long way from slashing prices on its newest console, but Walmart seems ready to offer buyers a much better Xbox One price. In fact, the retailer is selling the Xbox One Titanfall bundle online for just $449.99, or $50 off its regular price. For that price, users get both the console and the incredibly popular game, which retails separately for $59.99, in effect slashing the Xbox One’s price even lower than Sony’s PlayStation 4, which retails for $399.99 without any games. Best Buy is also offering the same deal right now. More →
A market dominated by GameStop is about to see another huge entrant as Walmart is set to launch a used video game purchasing program next week across its nationwide network of 3,100 retail stores. The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart will begin buying used games next week and will pay gamers anywhere from a few dollars to $35 or more for used titles. Payments will be made in the form of Walmart gift cards that can be used to purchase any products from Walmart stores or the company’s website. More →
According to National Retail Federation, shoppers spent about $1.7 billion less during the Thanksgiving weekend than they did in 2012. The sluggish weekend was anticipated, because Amazon and Walmart had started relatively aggressive promotions well before Black Friday. Nevertheless, the NRF numbers leave the fate of this winter shopping season very much up in the air. According to group, the number of people shopping either online or in the real world ticked up 1% over the last year’s period. But weekend spending dropped by a rather sharp 16 bucks to $407.55 per consumer. More →
Walmart on Friday announced that its 2013 Black Friday campaign has been a smashing success, with the store delivering “the biggest shopping day of the season,” even though not all its online customers were happy after Walmart’s website experienced some snafus. The retail store revealed that over 1 million customers took advantage of the One-Hour Guarantee promotion offered on 21 products this year, while the company said it processed more than 10 million transactions on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and its website registered nearly 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day. In total, more than 22 million customers did their Black Friday shopping at Walmart. More →
Electronics retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and others are about to engage in a fierce Black Friday and holiday shopping price war. The fight is for market share rather than profits at a time of the year when several highly anticipated electronic devices are launched, including the new iPad models, or the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The Wall Street Journal has spoken to Best Buy and Walmart execs, who confirmed that the holiday shopping season is of utmost importance for them, as electronics are seen as the main attraction for potential customers. More →
You may want to think twice before switching to Walmart’s Straight Talk for unlimited iPhone 5 service [updated]
Earlier this month, Walmart (WMT) announced the availability of iPhone 5 on its Straight Talk Wireless service. The news was huge for consumers who are interested in Apple’s (AAPL) latest smartphone but are not willing to sign a lengthy and expensive two-year service agreement. Straight Talk’s no-contract plan offers unlimited voice, text and data for a mere $45 a month. Like many other “unlimited” services, however, Straight Talk has some restrictions. More →
Walmart (WMT) announced this week that beginning January 11th, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is available alongside $45-per-month unlimited service from Straight Talk Wireless. Two purchasing options are available to Straight Talk subscribers and neither involves signing a service contract of any kind. The iPhone 5 can either be purchased outright for $649 (16GB) or Walmart credit card holders can finance the handset for just $25 per month. Straight Talk’s $45 monthly plan requires no contract and includes unlimited calling, messaging and data. Unlimited international calling to select destinations can be added for an additional $15 per month. Walmart’s full press release follows below. More →
Walmart has evidently dropped its prices on the AT&T iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in select retail stores, according to Cult Of Mac. Without rhyme or reason, the price of the 8GB iPhone 4 on AT&T has dropped from $88 to $34, and the 16GB iPhone 4S is now being offered for only $114, down from the original list price of $188. The new prices apply to any AT&T customers, whether they are new activations or upgrades. Unfortunately, pricing on Verizon and Sprint iPhone models has not been lowered. Walmart previously reduced the price of the iPhone 4 one month before the iPhone 4S was announced in October, and that was the last major price drop we saw. Reports have surfaced that the next-generation iPhone could be announced in June, though our sources have indicated otherwise.
UPDATE: Walmart confirmed to 9to5Mac that the retail chain “experienced a pricing error in limited stores” yesterday and prices have now returned to their original amounts. More →
Anxious Apple fans who weren’t quick enough to place a pre-order before Apple sold out of pre-sales iPad inventory may end up getting their hands on the company’s highly anticipated new tablet well before their fellow buyers. Walmart on Thursday announced that while Apple Stores won’t open until 8:00 a.m. local time to hawk what little launch-day inventory they manage to obtain, Walmart stores across the country will begin selling new iPads eight hours earlier at 12:01 a.m. Stock is likely to be extremely limited if history has taught us anything, but heading over to your local Walmart at midnight is definitely better than the alternative. In an email to BGR, Walmart only mentioned having stock of Apple’s Wi-Fi-only iPad models, which start at $499.
UPDATE: Walmart responded to our request for clarification, but wouldn’t state whether or not the retailer will carry iPad Wi-Fi + 4G inventory at launch. “Specific model availability varies by store,” Walmart spokeswoman Sarah Spencer told BGR via email. “There will be limited quantities available per store.”
T-Mobile and Walmart announced on Tuesday that the Walmart Family Mobile plan now offers unlimited talk, text and web for $45 per month. Additional lines cost just $35 per month. Until Tuesday, Walmart’s plan did not offer unlimited web access, but there’s a big catch: the unlimited data doesn’t always provide 3G data speeds. Instead, those who sign up before March 16th will be able to consume up to 5GB of data at 3G speeds. After March 31st, however, new customers will only be able to surf at 3G speeds for the first 250MB. Customers interested in purchasing the plan can do so in any nationwide Walmart store or by visiting Walmart.com. T-Mobile and Walmart said the decision to add unlimited data was because 44% of first-time smartphone buyers so far this year have said the high cost of data has been No.1 reason they delayed buying a smartphone.
Nokia’s first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in the United States is already available for free on contract. Nokia and T-Mobile unveiled the Nokia Lumia 710 last month and confirmed that while the handset is certainly not a flagship device, it will play an important role for Nokia as it re-enters the U.S. market. The 710 can’t hold a candle to the Lumia 900 Nokia and AT&T will be launching in March, but at $50, the Lumia 710 is an excellent entry-level smartphone. And at $0 on contract, the price Walmart is currently asking from new customers, the 710 is an unbelievable value. BGR reviewed the Lumia 710 earlier this month and we thought the phone could indeed be a great tool for Nokia and T-Mobile as they tries to convert feature phone users into smartphone customers. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has been a big seller for the online retailer so far, maintaining the top spot on the Amazon.com best-sellers list for eight weeks running. Despite the slate’s already low price tag, at least two retailers are offering deep discounts on the new tablet at a number of physical locations. Both Walmart and Target have been selling the Kindle Fire for just $123 over the holiday weekend, and some stores may have extended the sale pricing into Monday. Several forum users on Slickdeals also say they have been able to get their local Best Buy and Staples retailer stores to match the sale pricing. The Kindle Fire sale has not been advertised, however, so some retailers will not match the special offer.
UPDATE: Several readers have contacted us claiming the $123 pricing is fake. BGR has not yet been able to confirm these claims. More →