The pandemic has been the primary focus this year and has left many holidays and events left forgotten. The dangerous conditions that the coronavirus brought to the United States have not addressed some of the most crowded days of the year — one of these being Black Friday. So, what is going on with Black Friday this year? Is it cancelled? Will the virus impact the popular sale event?
The answer to whether Black Friday is cancelled is that, no, it has not been officially cancelled as a whole, but many stores still have not decided whether they will participate in Black Friday or not. Some popular stores that people choose to visit during Black Friday such as Target, Best Buy, and Walmart have decided to close on Thanksgiving but these stores have not yet announced whether they will be participating in Black Friday. Most retailers will host online sales even if they are closed on that day.
Many retailers say that this season is unlike any other they have ever experienced due to coronavirus and the restrictions that it brings. Due to this fact, the places that will host online Black Friday are planning to start the sales earlier than in past years and are going to make them last longer, too, due to higher demand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classified “shopping at crowded stores just before, or on Thanksgiving” on their list of activities to avoid during this pandemic.
“I don’t really have any plans for Black Friday,” said junior Olivia Aaronson. “If I do buy things, I’ll just shop online to keep myself safe.”
If people choose to shop in-person on Black Friday, they should expect crowded shopping spaces and perhaps many popular businesses being closed for the sale. Coronavirus protocols and guidelines (such as a specific maximum capacity) will still apply which may lead to long lines and waits.
“When it comes to going into physical stores, we are not going to create a situation where there is a time sensitivity that would create crowd situations,” said Lowe’s executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer Marisa Thalberg in an interview with USA TODAY. “That is irresponsible in our current environment.”
As we near the popular Black Friday, more details will likely be revealed from stores and businesses announcing how, or if, they will partake in the sale. Visit Black Friday’s website to see up-to-date information about closures of popular stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It is not recommended by experts to go shop in person near or after Thanksgiving, but there is no official law stating that you cannot. Shopping online is a wise choice to keep yourself and others safe and may offer longer sale times due to high demand. How you choose to shop on Black Friday is essentially your preference but remember to stay safe while you reap the sales!