Campus News News

Black Friday shows no signs of slow down amid COVID pandemic

By Cait Kemp
@caitlinkemp09

With Covid-19 remaining a major world issue, many probably expected this year’s Black Friday to be a flop. BlackFriday.com even predicted a decrease from last year, saying that people will not be as likely to buy products just because they are on sale, but rather search for specific needed items.

They noted that in-store events would probably lessen, and some had said that it would be “dead” or “cancelled.” They even predicted that the online sales would decrease by at least $1 billion from last year’s Black Friday.
However, with the ease of online shopping during the time of a pandemic, the day after Thanksgiving was still a huge success for many businesses.

CNBC reported that $9 billion was spent online, a 21.6 percent increase from last year. In-store sales decreased, showing that the pandemic proved to be a motivator to stay home and shop online, a process much easier than the dark early mornings and crowd-filled malls of a normal Black Friday.

In-store and curbside pickup also increased this year, adding another alternative for people who wanted to remain socially distant. With this decrease of in-store shopping, it brings question to a timeless holiday season tradition for many families – the shopping mall Santa.

Many stores are cancelling the event, including the iconic Macy’s in New York City. Others are offering visits through Plexiglas dividers, an experience not quite like the classic, but a way to still bring Christmas joy to children.

Either way, it is a small inconvenience to give up in the time of this pandemic, and people will be able to find their holiday traditions in other ways.

Following Black Friday is the newer phenomenon of Small Business Saturday. ABC News said that Small Business Saturday saw a rise in sales of 545 percent compared to an average day of sales the week before.

This brought some relief to business owners who could have expected a more difficult selling season without the in-person foot traffic. Cyber Monday followed its sale day counterparts with great boosts in sales.

U.S. retailers brought in $10.84 billion in online sales, breaking the shopping record, according to Business Insider. This was over a billion dollar increase from last year, and brought the total spending of the season so far over $100 billion.

Some of the biggest retailers involved in the multiple sale days, Amazon, Walmart and Target, are working hard to fulfill all of these sales and keep up for the rest of the holiday season.

In past years, online shopping had already been gaining popularity. In the world today, everything can be done online with a few clicks of a button.

It makes for much easier shopping and allows people to do it from the comfort of their home. So, although stores didn’t have much interaction with shoppers physically, our already internet-savvy generations still showed up to claim the great discounts that were offered at the wide variety of retailers.

Photo Courtesy of Walmart

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