Retailers Brace For Black Friday Shopping


Photo Courtesy of Nosto

Black Friday is expected to look a lot different in 2020 than in previous years due to COVID-19

Linsey Towles, The Scroll, Co-Editor in Chief

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and many stores retailers announcing Thanksgiving Day closures, Black Friday weekend is expected to look much different in 2020 than in previous years.

 In an effort to avoid the big crowds Black Friday typically draws in, big-box chains and other retailers have extended online and in-store promotions. 

Los Angeles County, among 41 other counties in California, is in the most restrictive, purple tier of Governor Gavin Newsom’s tier system, meaning stores can be open but be limited to 25 percent capacity. L.A. County officials have advised against large family gatherings and travel as the holiday season fast approaches, to minimize the spread of coronavirus.  

Also in an effort to slow the spread, stores Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Home Depot, Costco, Lowes, Kohls, Macy’s, JCPenny and Sam’s Club are breaking tradition and are set to be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  

Black Friday is often characterized by big deals and even bigger crowds, with people waiting in long lines both inside and outside of stores. This gives Black Friday the potential to be a super spreader event, prompting stores to instead promote online and curbside shopping, as they have done throughout the pandemic. 

Retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Apple to name a few, are expected to have online deals on popular target items on Black Friday, like electronics. These deals can be found on their respective websites, some starting as early as the weekend before Black Friday. 

Shoppers can also expect another round of online deals come Cyber Monday. In essence, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is set to come together in a blend of different online deals, making the typically one-day shopping holiday longer and more remote. 

The Westfield Valencia Town Center is expected to be open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Black Friday for in-person shopping, however, shoppers are required to wear face masks and keep a distance of six feet while inside stores. Any shopper planning on participating in Black Friday in person can expect to be required to comply with L.A. County health protocols.

Camping outside stores is also not recommended, as gatherings of a certain size go against local health guidelines. 

 Best Buy has said that masks will be provided for in person shoppers. Target is expected to offer shopping reservations for customers to reserve a spot in line by clicking here and receive a notification when they can enter the store. Walmart is set to offer Black Friday deals over a span of three days. 

Increased online orders due to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and general holiday shopping typically go hand in hand with shipping and processing delays. Experts suggest customers may experience inventory and shipping problems, a problem retailers are attempting to avoid with in-store pickup and contactless pickup. Customers should check the shipping and pickup processes a store offers before buying.