Black Friday In-Person Shopping Slows Down While Online Shopping Hits New Records Amid Covid-19

Black Friday shopping stays primarily online as COVID-19 keeps families at home this holiday season. 

According to CNBC, there are hardly any lines, parking lots are empty, and there are more employees than customers at stores this year. “Consumers have adapted very quickly,” said Coresight Research founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig. “I took a video in Bed Bath & Beyond, and there’s nobody in the whole store.”

Each year Black Friday shopping is the next course of action after stuffing our bellies full of food, but this time around, the Rona is forcing families to stay home. Some stores were shut down for most of Thanksgiving, but the outlet reports that many opened their doors in the later hours of the day to accommodate in-person shoppers. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that people stay home and shop online for their holiday deals or use the curbside pickup option to ensure people are performing social distancing to curve the spread of the virus. “Walmart had no holiday decor, no Christmas music … you wouldn’t have known it was Black Friday,” Weinswig added about one store she visited.

“People are not out,” said David Bassuk, a managing director at AlixPartners in New York. “I think people realize that they can get the deals at home.” The number of people making purchases on Thanksgiving didn’t miss a beat. According to Adobe data, Thanksgiving Day spending rose by nearly 22% year over year to $5.1 billion, hitting a record, reported by CNBC. 

“If a store traditionally has relied on people walking by, and natural foot traffic, that’s not going to be there as much this year,” said Greg Portell, a lead partner in the global consumer practice of Kearney, a strategy and management consulting firm. “You’re going to see much more purposeful shopping. And that means retailers are going to have to find a purpose for consumers to come to them.”

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