This year, Black Friday has spread through parts of October and December to limit the rapid spread of COVID-19. Retailers are starting sales earlier and ending them later due to the pandemic. Companies are hoping these tactics will limit large crowds from coming together for the holidays.
What We Know:
- Retailers such as Walmart are offering extended sale days and relying heavily on online deals that will show on their website first and then will be in stores days later. They have expected an increase in customers using the curbside pickup option. Walmart has said they will have “Health Ambassadors” who will ensure customers are wearing a mask, social distancing is enforced, capacity control, and one-way lanes. Scott McCall, executive vice president, and chief merchandising officer for Walmart US, said in a release,
“By spreading deals out across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect the Black Friday experience in our stores will be safer and more manageable for both our customers and our associates.”
- Retailers are expecting online sales to be the main form of use. The Commerce Department mentioned the increase In online shopping before the pandemic. They also reported that in 2019 alone, shoppers spent more than $600 billion online, which increased by almost 15% compared to 2018.
- Neil Sauders, a retail analyst, and managing director at GlobalData Retail, stated, “Black Friday has definitely transitioned more into a digital affair in the past five years…The focal point is not that single day anymore. It’s an event spread out over several days.”
- As companies such as Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, and Target are creating effective and safer ways to enjoy Black Friday, delivery services are concerned with the high volumes of shipments. FedEx chief Marketing Officer Brie Carere mentioned how Covid-19 has” triggered such an increase in e-commerce since March that shipping volumes have consistently been at Christmas peak or Cyber Monday levels every day.
Delivery companies ask people to order items earlier to ensure they receive the packages in a reasonable amount of time. This pandemic has affected everyone worldwide, and retailers are implementing multiple forms of access to continue the joy of Black Friday sales.