Empty shelves or empty stores? Black Friday 2020

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Black Friday deals. This year in 2020, Black Friday will look very different from previous years. Stores applied their Black Friday discounts to their online stores in order to encourage online shopping.

Maggie Craig, Features editor

Stampedes of shoppers bustle through crowded isles as they rip off discounted television from shelves. Long lines of people wait in front of stores to get the doorbuster deals. Moms fight over Keurig machines after previously preaching about being thankful for what they have. Black Friday is a tradition that millions of people all over the U.S. partake in to purchase many discounted items they otherwise wouldn’t have. However, due to the global pandemic, many eager shoppers are wondering if Black Friday will be cancelled this year.

Fortunately, the Black Friday tradition will be continuing on Friday, November 27th, in a number of stores such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target, but all stores are pushing their online sales to the forefront, stressing the importance of online shopping through their astronomical deals. In fact, Walmart encourages shoppers to take their energy to the Internet as the store kicked off their month-long Black Friday event on their website. In past years, retailers waited for Cyber Monday to release their online savings, but this year on November 30th, stores are reinventing their Cyber Monday to reduce the number of in-person shoppers.

Along with online shopping, stores will enforce masks and social distancing onto their in-person shoppers. Black Friday will no longer be a barrage of buyers charging at full speed. Instead, the shoppers will have to abide by the six-foot markings on the floors as well as wear masks to enter them. Additionally, many stores will not be open on the evening of Thanksgiving like in past years. Stores like GameStop, Home Depot, Best Buy and more will be opening their doors in the early morning of November 27th. Retailers are predicted to see a 45% decrease in in-person shoppers this year.

This wave of technological advances has given an insight into the future of in-person shopping. Shopping malls throughout the U.S. are falling victim to the growth of online shopping as they file for bankruptcy all around the country. Due to the pandemic, a multitude of shoppers are sticking to the online scene this year, and it is no question that online shopping will continue to rise in popularity even after the virus passes. After all, the in-person experience cannot surpass the quick price comparisons and the thousands of available options that online shopping offers. However, many buyers prefer seeing their product in-person rather than on a screen. 

All in all, Black Friday this year will not be seeing the same crowd they once amassed only last year. The amount of in-person shoppers has been steadily decreasing throughout the years, but in 2020 that number is projected to experience a substantial drop. Regardless, the in-person shopping experience will still be as hectic as ever, and some may argue that this year will be the most hectic of all years. More info on  Black Friday 2020 plans is located here.