Traditionally, Black Friday starts after Thanksgiving and opens the season of Christmas sales. In 2019, shoppers spent a record $7.4 billion on Black Friday online shopping. This year, due to the spread of the COVID-19, most sales will be held online. Therefore, such large retailers as Walmart have already started November sales that will last until the end of the month. However, Walmart has decided to close all its stores on Thanksgiving Day. Read more about the reasons for such a decision and the following sales.
Why Walmart Closes Its Stores on Thanksgiving Day
Walmart’s management made this decision primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stores traditionally attract large crowds of shoppers on Black Friday, which is incompatible with current restrictions and requirements for maintaining social distance.
In recent years, U.S. retailers have faced criticism for preventing employees from spending time with their families on Thanksgiving, which also influenced Walmart’s decision to announce a day off. In this way, the company wants to thank its employees who did not stop working even during the pandemic. “We know it has been a difficult year and our employees had to work hard. We hope they will have a very special Thanksgiving at home with their close people. We are certainly grateful to them for all their efforts,” said John Furner, President of Walmart.
How the Walmart Black Friday Sales Will Be Held This Year
The American tradition of lining up at large supermarkets on Thanksgiving night and joining the bargain hunt crowd is dangerous due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is possible that in 2020 most shopping malls will change the terms of Black Friday, including Walmart. Although Walmart will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, it doesn’t mean that Black Friday won’t happen this year. So, you are free to check the Walmart Black Friday ad 2020 that is already available.
Instead of one day or a weekend, the retailer will offer promotional prices in advance and give people a month or more to make purchases. They are really going to run at full capacity for as long as they can this year. In this way, retailers are trying to compensate for the loss of income they suffered during the pandemic.
Will the discounts be better than ever? Perhaps for some groups of goods the sales of which have fallen sharply due to the pandemic. But in general, you can expect the same discounts as in previous years for traditionally popular categories – household appliances, electronics, household goods, and food.
Walmart Goes Online
Walmart improved its Black Friday sale and sent more visitors online. Some items were sold out quickly on Walmart’s first two online Black Friday sales. These new events will truly address two current requirements of the customers:
- The safety of customers and employees;
- Meeting the customers where they shop – on the Internet.
Meanwhile, there will be three large events that you can participate in called “Black Friday Deals for Days.” These days, Walmart announces the biggest discounts on electronics and home appliances. For instance, people will have an opportunity to purchase the following goods at large discounts:
- Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) at $119 (available online from November 25th).
- Children’s bicycles at $29 (available on November 27th).
- Google Nest Hub for $49.98 (available on November 27th).
Marketers predict that not only customers begin to buy more online, but they will pick up purchases at self-pick-up centers (if they cannot receive free delivery). Such a service has become very popular in the United States. This is when the buyer arrives at the pickup point, and the staff takes out the packaged goods, while clients do not even have to leave their cars.
Online Vs. Offline
However, many shoppers still want to visit the store for holiday shopping. Polls showed that 32% of US residents intend to shop online, and 56% feel safe in stores this holiday season. Therefore, if you decide to shop in malls, do not forget about the precaution measures – wear the mask and maintain social distance.
Meanwhile, Walmart will count the number of shoppers during Black Friday events to reduce crowds and maintain social distancing. Besides, the visitors will shop “on the right-hand side of the aisle.” Stores will have requirements for masks, social distancing signs, and plastic barriers at the checkout.
This year, many shoppers are scared of visiting real stores on Black Friday and are more likely to shop online. But the main thing here is not how the purchases will be made, but the fact that Black Friday turns into an event that will take place all month long. However, those who still prefer visiting land-based Walmart stores these days will see many additional innovations related to security.
The largest American retailer will actively promote online shopping, but at the same time, it promises to make every effort for shopping to be as safe as possible. Mandatory masks, sanitized grocery carts, a limited number of visitors, and social distancing are what you should expect this year. Still, all these measures cannot prevent you from enjoying sales.