Has COVID-19 managed to kill off Black Friday shopping for good? Despite shrinking sales at physical locations of stores, Americans still turned out in droves last year for Black Friday shopping last year.
The day after Thanksgiving is nicknamed Black Friday by retailers. That’s because the spending spree not only kicked off the Christmas shopping season but the amount spent put retailers in the black (in profit) for the year.
Fighting For Bargains
Traditionally, Black Friday started in the wee morning hours of Friday with shoppers lined up outside waiting for stores to throw open the doors. In recent years stores started opening late Thanksgiving Day or even staying open all day on Thanksgiving with special deals.
Despite some media backlash about forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving, sales have been strong on Thanksgiving prompting more and more retailers to join the trend.
Videos of crowds of shoppers fighting over goods are an internet staple.
Closed On Thanksgiving
However, in the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, huge crowds of shoppers crowding shoulder to shoulder are not something stores want.
This year, many major retailers announced that they plan to close on Thanksgiving and curtail Black Friday sales. Walmart announced that it would close stores on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in nearly 40 years. The company said the move was to allow workers to spend more time with their families during this time of crisis.
Target followed suit shortly after. Target CEO Brian Cornell said, “This year more than ever, a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we’re continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value, and the joy of the season in a way that only Target can.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods also announced they would skip their traditional Thanksgiving Day sales.
Though these stores will be open on the Friday after Thanksgiving, don’t expect the traditional doorbuster sales with shoppers lined up outside. Shoppers can expect retailers to rely heavily on online deals and to spread out the bargains over the entire holiday season as opposed to just one or two days.