Black Friday in the midst of COVID

by Olivia Raun

(Shoppers practiced safe COVID protocols. Photo source: bloomberg.com)

Black Friday is one of the many events, holidays and traditions that were adjusted throughout 2020 due to COVID-19. The day following Thanksgiving is traditionally filled with early risers, many large sales and crowded department stores. In order to comply with CDC guidelines while still providing shoppers with the much anticipated experience, many retailers reinvented the Black Friday experience. 

Below were some of the main adjustments to Black Friday 2020:

Some large retailers had sales throughout the entire month of November.

Many large retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Sam’s Club began releasing Black Friday deals at the beginning of November. Other retailers such as Costco, Macy’s and Home Depot began releasing deals in mid-November. 

These retailers released these deals over several days to allow shoppers to still receive deals on many big-ticket items while avoiding large crowds on November 27.  

Many stores closed on Thanksgiving and opened later on Black Friday.

In previous years, Black Friday deals began on Thanksgiving evening and lasted throughout the early morning hours of Friday. This year, many stores did not open their doors until Friday morning. Best Buy and Walmart opened their doors at 5 a.m., which is the earliest any large retailer is opening this year. Other large retailers such as Target and Sam’s Club opened their doors at 7 a.m. on Friday morning. 

Large retailers offered the same deals online as in-store. 

Large retailers attempted to limit the Black Friday crowds as much as possible on Friday morning by encouraging online shopping. Shoppers could expect to find nearly all of the in-store deals from the comfort of their home. 

By offering in-store deals online, retailers hoped to provide shoppers with a safer alternative to still take advantage of the great deals. 

Face masks and social distancing were required. 

For the safety of all shoppers and employees, many large retailers required shoppers to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Stores limited the amount of shoppers that could be in the store at once. 

The Black Friday crowds were expected to be lower than normal because of the other adaptations stores have made, but it was still likely that there would be lines outside of some large retail stores due to the stores’ limited capacity. 

Although this Black Friday looked different from the past, shoppers still be received many excellent deals from large retailers across the country. Shoppers could be assured that retailers have worked hard to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all online and in-person shoppers. 

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