Given the fact that Walmart has become the international destination for all things retail, it won’t surprise you to learn that the Arkansas-based conglomerate has gained a large foothold in TV manufacturing via its private label brand ONN.
According to the Consumer Reports website, “Onn is one of a handful of private-label brands that have TVs and other products sold by just one retailer.” In this case, it’s Walmart.
Since the introduction of the brand across the U.S., ONN televisions have found a huge audience in consumers who want sophisticated sets but don’t necessarily have the means to afford more expensive brands.
The private label was introduced in 1999. In 2019, Walmart expanded its reach by launching three Roku-enabled products (40-, 50-, and 58-inches) just in time for “Black Friday.” Peruse the latest models to see how expansive the line has become.
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Who Makes ONN TVs for Walmart?
While this question can be answered by naming “Durabrand” as the maker, there is no single manufacturing hub churning out these electronics.
Durabrand farms out fabrication to several sources. You could find ONN sets being produced by Funai Electronics or Orion Electronics.
In addition to multiple factory origination sites, both Funai and Orion (both Japanese brands) own plants in China and Thailand so even if the details on two adjacent sets are identical, they may have been fabricated in a different part of Asia.
Further, warranty repair services are provided by Element Electronics, a U.S.-based company.
What other TVs are made by Durabrand?
If you would like to get your hands on an original TV set produced by Durabrand that bears the corporation’s logo and that has no association with Walmart, you’re going to have to peruse websites like eBay, Mercari, or entities that deal in vintage electronics.
No mass market TVs have been produced directly by Durabrand, but gaming monitors were once a mainstay of the company.
The items you’ll run into on those websites and at antique dealerships are likely to feature 13-inch screens and boxy cabinets that reflect both their age and state of technology when they were made.
Further, most of these products are classified as retro gaming TV monitors so they may not technically be able to connect to available broadcast or streaming services that pervade the U.S. market.
Typical units bear the modernistic D logo at the lower left bottom that designates a set as an authentic Durabrand model
No matter how much you search, you won’t find a flat-screen model bearing the signature Durabrand logo.
Are ONN TVs good?
The answer to this question depends largely upon your expectations. Reviews on the popular Reddit platform tend to be spotty and most often reflect the comment one owner posted when he reminded site visitors that “You get what you pay for.”
On the other hand, another comment makes an excellent point: “At the super low prices, getting 2 or three years of usage seems like a deal to me,” and there is no shortage of positive reviews from folks who are happy with their purchases even though the quality of these TVs isn’t ideal.
Do ONN TVs have merit? Surprisingly, a review posted on the WorstBrands website includes a litany of reasons to choose this brand over others.
Launching the post, reviewers say the brand has flagship features that belie the price, citing these reasons to take a close look at ONN TV sets that goes beyond the price.
- Onn TVs offer sleek, contemporary designs with very thin bezels
- All current models are of the flat screen variety
- Resolution doesn’t disappoint
- Set size options continue to expand
- Onn televisions offer features that make life easier and more enjoyable
- It’s easy to add thousands of apps on to these sets
- Excellent picture quality and an easy Roku install process
- Current best bets are the 50″ Class 4K (2160P) UHD Smart LED TV; ONN 32″ Class HD (720P) LED TV (ONC17TV001); Onn 70” Class 4K UHD (2160P) LED Roku Smart TV HDR (100012588).
Why are Walmart TVs so cheap?
In general, Walmart’s mission has always been to offer affordable products so it should come as no surprise that even its latest ONN branded televisions have price tags that win the hearts and minds of bargain shoppers.
Lori McDaniel, senior content manager at Offers.com, says there’s no mystery behind the fact that Walmart TVs are so cheap: “Walmart’s HDTVs are at ‘low’ prices because they are the lower-quality versions than those sold elsewhere.”
Bottom line, notes experts writing for a recent Bob Cut magazine article, is that “Walmart, the big retailer, has been able to keep prices low by being efficient with its resources and fully leveraging economies of scale.
The company is so big that it can buy everything from food to clothes at lower prices than any other retailer.”
Will prices remain the most prominent reason people choose Walmart TVs?
That all depends upon the brand’s ability to make sure supply chain issues don’t interfere with Durabrand’s relationship with its suppliers and Walmart’s corporate vision for the future.
In addition, the ONN brand relies upon LED screens, considered inferior by some high-end manufacturers.
On August 15, 2022, Walmart announced its latest partnership: a deal with Paramount that gives Walmart+ subscribers access to this streaming service for free.
If the company’s resources are best spent on the innovations other private brand television manufacturers prioritize, things could change, but there are no certainties.
According to Howard Meitiner, managing director at restructuring advisory firm Carl Marks Advisors, “The thing that impresses me about Walmart is that they were not content to just stay Walmart. They realized that if they were to fall into the trap department stores fell into, and remained the same, they would fall into decline.”
His comment aptly explains why Walmart is positioned to keep selling TVs as long as consumers seek affordable shopping options.