Black Friday 2020: A Phenomenon Moved Online?


Source: The Business of Fashion

Analise Bruno, Writer

The month of November is famous for hosting one of the most notable American holidays, Thanksgiving. Though many look forward to this month for a chance to be thankful and eat some great food, others are more excited about the great deals that proceed with the holiday. That’s right, within less than twenty-four hours on Thanksgiving night, people transform into thankful beings, to bargain hunting sharks. Of course, that’s a joke, but still, Black Friday does provide many Americans with the chance to knock out a lot of holiday shopping, and with good prices to boot. 

Each year, hundreds of Americans take to their positions outside stores waiting for their early openings to get ahead of the crowd. The huge crowds of people searching for the best deals are a common sight on this sanctimonious day, but with COVID-19 spreading like a wildfire, many are wondering how Black Friday will work this year with large crowds being incapable of social distancing.

According to Forbes, this year, only 20% of Americans plan to attend these Black Friday sales in person, while the rest plan to go virtual. Move over Cyber Monday, Black Friday is taking to the online world this year. However, the real question many have is how the phenomenon that is Black Friday will work online?

Well, not to fear, many retailers still plan to stick to their same amazing Black Friday deals, what will change is how they go about organizing this event and how they will attract customers virtually.

First, many retailers will be going largely online this year to secure the same amount of profits by extending opportunities to customers avoiding crowds. So far, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy along with many other retailers, have announced Black Friday deals that will be up and running from their websites in place of their typical store gatherings. However, their goal here is to also have these deals extend throughout the month, not on just one day. That’s right, some retailers will extend their Black Friday deals from the middle to the end of November to give consumers more opportunities to snag greatest buys this year. Dates are still tentative because they want to make sure they don’t give the deals too early, as in before holiday shopping time, but they will be announced soon.

On the other hand, although some brands will be going entirely online this year, stores like Walmart and Target do plan to keep their in-store shopping experience the same. How will they avoid the crowds though? Well, according to Forbes, both Walmart and Target plan to schedule out sales that are taking place in the store to limit huge crowds and space out deals so they still earn the same amount of money. Walmart has also reported that they plan to hire an additional 20,000 workers earlier this year to accommodate and enforce all the CDC COVID-19 guidelines. 

Many other  retailers are not very tech-savvy and are used to earning the majority of their profits in store. However, to prioritize safely many of your favorite stores will be hosting “Online Shopping Festivals” and plan to offer a multitude of deals over the course of the month, rather than on just one day. Some stores are already plotting their plans in the midst, and some have confirmed closing their doors for this season’s shopping craze, is your favorite on the list?

  • TJ Maxx
  • Bath, Bath, and Beyond
  • Gamestop
  • Best Buy
  • Kohls 
  • Dicks Sporting Goods
  • JCPenney
  • Office Depot

This list is tentative and could keep growing, but what does that mean for us, the consumers? Well, all these retailers have announced they will offer the same Black Friday deals, just online. They also promise to spread the deals throughout the month to give us more opportunities to get our holiday shopping done. 

However, if you do still plan on going out to shop at a retailer that will be open this season, make sure you continue to follow the CDC guidelines to stay safe. Remember to always wear your CDC approved face covering, carrying around at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer, limit the number of items you touch, never touch your face, wash your hands frequently, if you see a crowd don’t contribute, etc. Most importantly, if you or someone you know is feeling sick or is high-risk, do not go out and risk the health and lives of other people! There are still plenty of great ideas online!

Black Friday, along with many other holidays, may unfortunately look different this year. It may be hard to forgo some traditions to a virus, but, there is still much fun to be had. Don’t forget to keep checking updates from your favorite retailers to see what deals will become available in the upcoming weeks!