The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Friday

Meiling Mathur, Staff Writer

Many readers are familiar with the usual customs associated with the infamous post-Thanksgiving Black Friday–crowds waiting outside stores overnight, lines of people stretching from the door to the next block over and the frenzied rush of shoppers fighting each other for the best deals on the shelf. However, with the pandemic still in full swing and state laws limiting public gatherings, Black Friday will definitely be a lot different this year. Take a look at what popular retailers are doing and how MHS students can enjoy Black Friday to the fullest extent possible.

Last month, Walmart announced their plan for a “reinvented Black Friday experience,” consisting of three online savings events with curbside pickup. 

“We’ve been very thoughtful as we planned this year’s event,” executive vice president Stee McCall said. “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.” 

Walmart is also taking in-store precautions by opening their doors at 5am, letting in batches of shoppers at a time and handing out sanitized shopping carts. 

“I’m really excited that this year, when it matters most to our customers, we’re offering them more convenient and safer ways to shop Black Friday at Walmart, whether that’s from the shelf in one of our stores, ordering online and picking it up curbside or having it delivered right to their front door,” McCall said. 

In addition to Walmart, other retailers are giving shoppers more time to take advantage of Black Friday deals. 

Best Buy, Amazon, Kohl’s, Target, and Macy’s have already started their online sales, and many more are slated to start their Black Friday sales in the coming days. Online retailers, like Microsoft and Costco, have already released their catalogs and flyers for shoppers to preview before their sales begin.

COVID-19 has also changed the shopping habits of students at MHS. 

Samantha Li, ‘23, said that her family has definitely been shopping in-person a lot less.

“Due to COVID cases skyrocketing higher than ever, it’s certain that we will never step foot into a shop again (except for groceries and other things that we need on a daily basis) until the pandemic ends,” Li said. 

Instead of going to stores, Li’s family has been turning to online retailers for their shopping needs. 

“[We] are getting more and more used to online shopping. It’s gradually becoming the norm for all of us,” Li said. 

This year’s Black Friday is unlike anything Americans have seen before, but retailers are adjusting their policies to accommodate their shoppers. From extended sales to online ordering and in-store precautions, there are a variety of ways people can enjoy their holiday shopping this year. Just remember to wear a mask, be mindful of fellow shoppers, and above all, stay safe this season.