Is Black Friday Cancelled Over The Pandemic? We Looked Into It

Published on October 16, 2020

Black Friday is synonymous with crowds. During the pandemic, major companies are already working towards lessening the crowds to make shopping a little safer and socially-distanced friendly. Walmart, for example, is spreading Black Friday across three weekends.

Walmart experiences Black Friday madness every year with crowds going gonzo, trampling each other, and fighting each other. That may change this year with a “revamped Black Friday savings event.” In addition to three weekends of sales, Walmart is making its sales available online. Sales are available online even before they are in-store. On the first, second, and fourth weekend of November, that’s when hundreds of deals will rollout. Each weekend will focus on different products, too, and sections of the store. Curbside pickup is available as well.

No longer will men, women, and children charge into the store like a pack of high-speed zombies. There are single-file lines now at major chains such as Walmart. Walmart’s “Health Ambassadors” will keep all carts sanitized and remind customers to wear masks, as well as encourage social distancing.

Inside the store, social distancing and one-way lines will be enforced. “I’m really excited that this year, when it matters most to our customers, we’re offering them more convenient and safer ways to shop Black Friday at Walmart, whether that’s from the shelf in one of our stores, ordering online and picking it up curbside or having it delivered right to their front door,” said Scott McCall, who’s the executive vice president for Walmart. 

Best Buy and Target are spreading their sales out across November and December. To combat crowds, Black Friday won’t be their only big sales day. In the next week, Best Buy begins their Black Friday deals in-store and online. Starting Tuesday, Best Buy is offering discounts on laptops, tablets, and 4K smart TVs. Later this month, the company will offer even more deals on these items. Presently, Best Buy have deals available leftover from their anti-Prime Day. A few products that were on sale are now back at their full price, but many Best Buy items still have their prices slashed.

Best Buy found a way to sweeten their already sweet deals, too, with a Black Friday price guarantee. If a customer purchases an item and it later becomes available at a cheaper price, the customer gets reimbursed for the difference. If there’s a better price prior to November 28th, that’s the deal. There’s a holiday return period as well. Any item is available for refund until January 16th, 2021.

Macy’s is another Black Friday hot stop. Next month, the company is planning to get a head start on the major sales day. Around Halloween time, Macy’s will start marketing the big day. The company hasn’t announced its planned deals for Black Friday yet, but customers will be able to shop in-store, experience contactless curbside pickup is available, have in-store pick up, and online sales are available. Macy’s will keep enforcing social distancing. 

Target, too, is taking steps to ensure a safe Black Friday for everyone. Target will make their major sales available online. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and other major chains are encouraging people more than ever to shop online this year. For the rest of the month, sales from those major businesses will continue online before Black Friday comes around on November 27th. As for Thanksgiving day, the major retailers are closing their doors this year. That’s usually the case, but Best Buy, Costco, Lowes, Walmart, and Target have confirmed stories will remain closed on the holiday. Like a Target rep said in a statement: “Let’s face it: Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn’t a year for crowds.”

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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