How will COVID-19 affect Black Friday shopping?
By Barbara High
Tribune Staff Writer
KEYSER - The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the American people really hard in pretty much every way you can imagine - affecting jobs, holiday family gatherings, and even the way we shop.
With Thanksgiving here, and Christmas shortly after, Black Friday and Christmas shopping usually finds the stores booming. No one can predict how the pandemic would affect these big shopping days, and many consumers and retail stores are scrambling trying to figure it out.
With Black Friday being easily the biggest shopping day of the year and with stores seeing a usual turnout of wall-to-wall shoppers crammed on top of each other trying to get a great deal, stores had to address how to pull off the large-scale event while trying to maintain social distancing guidelines. With the health concern of their employees and customers to be looked after, many large retailers altered their huge shopping events.
What was once a 24-hour event based solely in stores and with some online, retailers have now had to focus their sales mostly online, with many stretching the event over the entire month and urging consumers to shop early.
Walmart began doing Black Friday sales the first week of Novembe, with a focus of new deals every week. Many shoppers have stated they had some issues navigating the sales and found that items seemed to run out fast.
Walmart did continue to place a few Black Friday sale items around the stores, but not the normal amount that would bring in hoards of people.
With the Mineral County COVID cases being at an all time high and the county staying in the danger zone on the map, the online sales have been preferred by most shoppers, according to those who spoke with the News Tribune.
Breanna Shoemaker said it would only be online black Friday shopping for her instead of going out, while Angela Everett said as far as going out shopping on Friday, “that's not happening.”
Teffany Bridges-Jones agreed that it is all online for her as well.
Lina McDonald said she will probably do some online Black Friday shopping, but was not going in stores.
Since the majority of shoppers are saying that online was their preferred method of shopping this year and the appeal of not having to try and navigate crowds in stores or find parking , what does that mean for retail stores and their Black Friday sales?
With stores rushing to change how their holiday sales events will happen, Black Friday is seeing a makeover due to pandemic affects.
Customers are more wary of going out into the public; how this will affect large retailers as well as local stores is yet to be seen.
Also the question still looms, will the pandemic change the face of Black Friday shopping for the future?