How will Black Friday Function Amid the Pandemic?

Nine months into a global pandemic, many stores and businesses are finally getting back on their toes after several months of closures and caution. This leaves several speculations about how Black Friday will operate despite the confusion that many Americans are feeling. “Black Friday is officially Black November” claims Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business about the annual shopping holiday. 

Black Friday is receiving a 2020 makeover due to health protocols created by the covid-19 pandemic. Many stores are beginning the sales before Thanksgiving, and others are extending them throughout the month of November. A survey from Deloitte shows that approximately 51% of people do not feel comfortable doing physical shopping in stores this year. Also, approximately 64% of these people anticipate shopping online for Black Friday deals. This shift in shopping-styles has been increasing over the past few years, but nobody could predict the jump in online sales that will likely come this year. This change in shopping will be paired with additional safety measures and limits on capacity in stores. 

According to CNBC, Amazon pushed its Prime Days from July to October 13 and 14, which in turn, resulted in an earlier holiday shopping season than usual. There has been an ongoing trend in past years to open earlier and earlier every year, some stores even deciding to start the deals on Thanksgiving day.  However, this trend will likely be abolished this year due to concerns about the coronavirus. 

Many stores are using curbside pickup to their advantage in order to continue the tradition of physical sales. This was not as much of an option in years prior because many stores did not provide these safe shopping alternatives in the past. In an attempt to replicate the feeling of going into a store and buying many more items than you originally anticipated (as a large percentage of people do annually on Black Friday), many online stores are going to be creating deal bundles this year with multiple products being discounted if bought together. Business Insider reminded shoppers that Walmart, along with many other large department stores, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. 

What are some deals to look out for this year, despite the different atmosphere of the shopping holiday? CNN Business presented that Black Friday deals at Macy’s began on November 4th and continue for the rest of the holiday season. Target created a promotion titled: “Black Friday Now,” where deals spread out throughout the entire month of November. Target is also extending its price match guarantee an additional two months from the purchase date, and letting customers make reservations to limit the numbers of people. Forbes announced that Apple will be handing out up to $200 in gift cards to be spent on various products in its stores. 

Although there is seemingly no “correct” answer as to how stores should be handling Black Friday during a pandemic, many stores have taken enormous efforts to find a happy medium to make as many people comfortable and satisfied as possible. Whether you want to shop in-person or from home, most stores have expanded their Black Friday shopping options for everyone this year. This will ensure that everyone can have a safe and joyful holiday season as always, with minimal shopping-related stress!