Here’s When Your Favorite Black Friday Ads Will Arrive

Here’s When Your Favorite Black Friday Ads Will Arrive

11/24/19 Update: Most of this year’s major Black Friday ads have arrived! You can find all 80+ circulars posted here. Follow our Black Friday fan page on Facebook to get alerted when the ads drop, and sign up for our daily newsletter to get the best Black Friday deals delivered to your inbox.

Yes, we know it’s still early, but some of our fans are already asking us, “When do Black Friday ads come out?” First of all, there are, like, a whole TWO yellow leaves on the trees and our windows are still open. Second, we’ll grudgingly admit we’re right there with you and, well, we do have a few ideas about when you can expect to see the Black Friday ads from your favorite stores come out.

Before we get into our predictions, there are a important things to address.

When is Black Friday 2019?

This year, Black Friday will be on Friday, November 29, 2019.

All dates we give are estimates unless otherwise noted.

We’ve got a lot of data about when we’ve seen Black Friday ads leak in the past, and we’ve got enough experience covering Black Friday news that we’re pretty good at giving that data a gut check. However, no two Black Fridays are alike, and there’s always something that comes out of left field to surprise us. In other words, if we’re wrong, please be gentle!

True Black Friday ad leaks are increasingly rare.

The ugly, unvarnished truth about ad leaks is that they are nearly always theft. Someone swipes a copy off the printer for some cash under the table, a disgruntled employee ships an unfinished copy off to a friend who puts it on a website somewhere. The trouble with these leaks for Black Friday shoppers is that they’re sometimes unfinished copies and thus can’t always be trusted to be accurate. Since the rise of Black Friday websites, most retailers have tightened up the security of their ad creation process, and leaks are happening a lot less often than they used to.

I’ll take this opportunity to note that Brad’s Deals takes copyright seriously – we never pay for leaked Black Friday ads, and although we may occasionally publish a leak, we only do so for retailers who allow it.

Phew! Okay! That was a lot of notes. On to our predictions! Let’s go!

Black Friday shoppers running into a storePhoto by via Flickr

Walmart Black Friday Ad

ETA: Wednesday November 13, 2019
Leak Potential: Low

The Walmart Black Friday ad has been so easy to predict for the last few years that we mark it on our calendars as “Walmart Wednesday.” Starting in 2016, Walmart began dropping the Black Friday ad at 11pm CT on Wednesday of the first full week of November. However, with Black Friday happening about a week later than we’ve seen recently, we’re reaching way, way back to 2013-2015 for precedent. That was the last time Black Friday was happening this late in November, and back then they were consistently releasing their circular on 11/11. In general, what we see from both of these periods is that Walmart likes to release the ad roughly 2 weeks ahead of Black Friday. So putting all of that together, and given their preference for Wednesdays, we think it’s going to be 11/13 – but we’ll also be keeping an eye on 11/6, just in case.

In the past, I would have said you were crazy if you thought the Walmart Black Friday ad might be leaked. Like Home Depot, their lawyers have always sent preemptive don’t-even-think-about-it letters and let’s face it, no one wants to fight Walmart. But in 2015, Walmart’s Black Friday marketing was uncharacteristically disorganized, the letter never came, and without a legal threat in place the ad did leak – albeit just one hour before it was published officially. They’ve been considerably more buttoned up ever since, however, so we’re betting we get the preemptive “cease and desist” again in 2019 with no early leaks anticipated.

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Best Buy Black Friday Ad

For the last few years, the Best Buy Black Friday ad has not leaked ahead of its intended publication date. Look for it to arrive online early in the morning around 11/13, with paper copies showing up in newspapers that weekend.

It is possible that the Best Buy ad will show up on 11/6 instead, as it usually shows up just a few hours after Walmart.

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Home Depot Black Friday Ad

ETA: Thursday November 28, 2019
Leak Potential: Zero (Almost)

Home Depot famously sends out preemptive “cease and desist” letters that threaten sites like ours with legal action should we publish their ad before its official publication. For us, that means that even if someone sends a leaked copy to us we won’t be putting it up on the site until then. (Darn those pesky lawyers…) The Home Depot Black Friday ad is always published on Thanksgiving Day, the day before their Black Friday sale, so in this case our ETA is pretty much set in stone.

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Kohl’s Black Friday Ad

For the last two years, Kohl’s Black Friday ad arrived on November 1st. The early release date seems to suit them, and I think we’ll see it again in 2019, even with Black Friday being later than it has been in several years. Why? Because Kohl’s has figured out how to capitalize on the cachet of 11/1, using their ad to usher in the shopping season and pairing it with a preview sale. It just doesn’t have the same impact on any other date.

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Macy’s Black Friday Ad

ETA: Wednesday November 13, 2019
Leak Potential: High

In all of the years that we’ve been watching Black Friday, there has rarely been a year when the Macy’s Black Friday ad wasn’t leaked. In fact, it’s often the first ad to arrive from a major store. If they’ve solved their leak issues, then we most likely won’t see the ad until 11/13.

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Sam’s Club Black Friday Ad

ETA: Tuesday November 12, 2019
Leak Potential: Low

The Sam’s Club Black Friday ad normally does not leak early. We expect to see it arrive approximately two weeks before Black Friday based on the last few years.

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Staples Black Friday Ad

ETA: Wednesday November 13, 2019
Leak Potential: Low

Based on our own publication dates for the last several years, we expect to get the Staples Black Friday ad on or around 11/6, but we think it’ll be a week later with the later Thanksgiving holiday.

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JCPenney Black Friday Ad

For the last two years, JCPenney’s Black Friday ad was released on 11/1, and following the same logic as with our Kohl’s prediction above, we expect that to be the case again for 2019. Making a splash with a coordinated 11/1 release date is just too tempting to pass up.

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Target Black Friday Ad

Leak Potential: Low

Although it has leaked in years past, for the last few Target has managed to keep it under wraps until they dropped it themselves. It seems as though they’ve got their process locked down, so a leak in 2019 would be unexpected to say the least. Look for the Target Black Friday ad to arrive on 11/1 along with a Black Friday preview sale that you won’t want to miss.

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Which Black Friday ad are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

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