What will Black Friday look like this year?
Black Friday is a family tradition for Cassie Lawrence. She used to go to high school with her parents. They would show up at 4 a.m., break down some doors and sign deals.
“The rush of everything was really fun,” Lawrence said. “It’s kind of free for all, where you watch something, you see it’s a good deal, you see it’s your size, you don’t have time to try anything. either, you just throw it in your basket and go. “
Not this year, however. Lawrence doesn’t want to risk contracting COVID – especially because she’s pregnant and due to give birth right before Thanksgiving.
“So I’ll probably be shopping online and not heading to the stores,” she said.
The CDC recently released a list of low, medium and high risk activities for fall vacation. On the high risk list? Shopping in crowded stores on Thanksgiving Day or the day after Black Friday.
“Aggregate hundreds of people in the cold darkness, outside a store, wait for the doors to open, then rush out and fight for a limited amount of merchandise – even as a non-epidemiologist, that sounds like a pretty bad idea to me, ”said Joel Bines, Managing Director of Alix Partners.
And so far, retailers reported that this is not the kind of Black Friday they are planning this year. Big retailers like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Best Buy have decided to close for Thanksgiving this year.
They are trying to encourage people to shop earlier by offering Black Friday deals in October and November, accelerating a trend in recent years. They also try to get people to buy online.
And “a lot of them are presenting their curbside pickup as an option, really trying to do whatever they can to avoid that, you know, a one-day crash,” said Casey Runyan, editor. Head of Brad’s Deals website.
Even so, it’s possible that some die-hard Black Friday enthusiasts will still show up this year.
“I would equate it to die-hard Chicago Cubs fans who rent out, you know, balconies across from the stadium because they’ve been to, you know, one Cubs game a year for 72 years and want to keep the sequence alive. ”Bines said. “There will be a few. There will surely be localized overpopulation. “
But he thinks most people will understand: this Black Friday, buy online. And if you come to the store, you better get your stuff from the curb.