The Usual Craziness of Black Friday Will Be Restricted By COVID-19 Precautions

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Carly Hoskins, Staff Writer

Black Friday usually consists of overcrowded stores, endless lines, and shopping centers teeming with customers, will inevitably become another event drastically changed in the face of the pandemic on Nov. 27. Annually taking place the day after Thanksgiving, this highly anticipated day to kick off the holiday shopping season will look different this year to its usual vigorous and determined shoppers due to mandatory COVID-19 precautions, social distancing guidelines, and store capacity limits. Unfortunately for Miramonte students eager to indulge in these once-a-year sales, their usual local Broadway Plaza, Sunvalley, or Westfield shopping traditions may be limited to only Cyber Monday or other online deals.  

“We are treating the day like any other shopping day and not doing any in-store promotions. We will be doing Cyber Monday promotions, but we want to encourage people to shop from home and stay home,” an Urban Outfitters employee said. Urban Outfitters is a chain retail store that normally promotes big sales during the holiday shopping season and attracts large crowds.

This year, stores must follow social distancing guidelines because of COVID-19. Some precautions stores take include restricting the number of shoppers in the store at a time, closed fitting rooms, frequent sanitation of products, and the requirement of masks for employees and shoppers.

“We clean everything after anyone touches it: counters, door handles, dressing rooms. We wear masks 24/7, take our temperature frequently, limit the occupancy to 50 people at a time, and only open up half of the dressing rooms. We aren’t doing anything special for Black Friday besides taking extra precautions,” Walnut Creek Tilly’s employee Taylor said.

However, not all shoppers agree with continuing Black Friday traditions this year. A survey by BlackFriday.com shows that 31 percent of Black Friday shoppers think stores should be 100 percent closed on Black Friday, while 39 percent think it is acceptable to be open but with no doorbusters or big, once a year in-store sales, leaving the final 30 percent in support of a usual Black Friday and with doorbusters.

In a poll of 53 students, 88 percent said they will be shopping online for Black Friday, while 12 percent said they will be shopping in stores for Black Friday.

Instead of promoting big, in-person store sales, stores this year are planning large online sales to keep people at home. An annual holiday consumer habit survey from Deloitte taken online from 4,012 consumers says, “Nearly 51 percent of shoppers feel anxious about shopping in-store during the holidays, and 64 percent of their budget is expected to be spent online.” As a result, stores will be starting their online sales earlier and ending them later to accommodate for the online shopping they are counting on.

“I am planning on Black Friday shopping online this year! I also love Cyber Monday shopping because it is always nice to buy people’s Christmas gifts early,” junior Kate Swan said.