What plans you have to shop in the current Holiday season? Everything has changed dramatically due to coronavirus. In 2020 most of us are shopping for 12-pack of double rolls, and Lysol spray can take place in your cart instead of searching for a Black Friday doorbuster.
Now the Thanksgiving and holiday shopping is combined with difficulties that pandemic has brought us. A record number of COVID-19 infections has threatened public health, and there is a record in unemployment both being undercutting Americans’ financial well-being.
Even then, Black Friday has not been cancelled despite reports. But, now, Black Friday looks like the longest Cyber Monday. There is a suggestion from public health officials that there will not be a crowd if there is no build-up. Even though stores are stacking TVs and other items inside closed fitting rooms with anticipation that some will.
COVID superspreader should be prevented. Black Friday shopping frenzies and its images have indeed created fear in the minds of retailers, public health officials, and employees. Of course, everybody thinks the same, and they can imagine the scene as well. There will be a crush of shoppers with bare breath apart, and they will be busy grabbing unbelievable deals, whether bra, toy, TV or gaming console.
But, treat 2020 as a different year. There was guidance issued even before the holiday season has started. ‘Thanksgiving shopping at crowded shops either before Thanksgiving or after Thanksgiving was listed under high-risk activities that should be avoided’ as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even the nation’s largest retailers have taken utmost precautions and followed more regular cleanings, using plastic sneezeguards, especially at the checkout counters and mask requirements, after limiting the number of shoppers inside.
Now, the Black Friday sale has been transformed into month-long and series of smaller deals. The sales have been kicked off by early November, and the same has encouraged shoppers to spread out demand and beat the rush.
Apart from that, in the name of crowd control and safety, shops have moved a lot of traditional big-ticket doorbuster items along with most in-demand items online. For example, Microsoft Xbox Series X and S to the new Sony PlayStation 5 must be seen on only-online sales.
If you are one of the early shoppers, you need to line up before entering the store, which was more commonplace when the pandemic was running.
There was a survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers. They said, ‘promotions and deals were not the top factors for shoppers when choosing the perfect place to shop for their Thanksgiving weekend. But they considered COVID-19 precautions became 36 per cent important factor among survey respondents.’
Shopping centres and malls were a hub for Thanksgiving and holiday traditions along with festivity. Hence the holiday season will be different this year since retail stores contend with coronavirus’ as per Tom McGee’s statement, who is ICSC president and CEO.
Cyber Monday or Black Friday. For years, Black Friday and Thanksgiving have been marked as the beginning or official kickoff for the holiday shopping season. The same was the right time of the year, where shoppers mainly focused on holiday spending.
The deals, rush, and the crowd with holiday spending gave the name Black Friday. The same is the time of the year, where retailers will be in black. For the last few years, the same official kickoff was creeping, and it used to run till Thanksgiving.
But in the last few years, people chose online shopping, and hence they boycott stores that were open during the holiday season. Still, a group of shoppers was ready to line up in front of the store even though sales moved online.
Due to COVID-19, Thanksgiving Day store opening has changed, which has helped employees. Now, the retailers have offered their employees a day off and the best time to spend time with their families.
Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner said, ‘2020 was a trying year, and now we have stepped up.’ He was announcing about the store being closed on Thanksgiving, and it is happening for the first time since the 1980s. He said, ‘We all wish you enjoy the Thanksgiving day with your loved one.’
But, there are handfuls of stores that have decided to remain open even on Thanksgiving. Of course, it pales when we compare it to last year with Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and J.C. Penny, among which stayed closed.