Thanksgiving is a time for sharing food and good times with your family — or at least it used to be. For some people, the day is about eating an early dinner before taking part in early Black Friday shopping. If you’re an American, you know that Black Friday is as synonymous as turkey when it comes to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Black Friday shopping has changed though in recent years. Stores don't just open at midnight on Black Friday. Stores have started opening earlier in the day on Thanksgiving. In 2019, some retailers were open all day on Thanksgiving to give savvy shoppers an opportunity to forgo Thanksgiving dinner entirely and get started on holiday shopping. Like so many things, Black Friday will be different in 2020.
What does Walmart do for Black Friday?
Walmart is a superstore chain that serves more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. Walmart is one of the most well-known retailers in the country. Most Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.
Traditionally, Walmart has been a mainstay of the Black Friday sales event. Mobs of shoppers line up across parking lots for hours. They rush inside the store as soon as the doors open — sometimes with fatal results. A few years ago, Walmart executives decided to open the doors earlier to avoid any customers or sales staff getting trampled.
Although the financial results of opening earlier were impressive, the move was socially depressive. People seemed more interested in going to Walmart than having Thanksgiving dinner with their families. Many people rushed out when Walmart opened on Thanksgiving to get the best Black Friday deals.
When does Black Friday start for Walmart in 2020?
In 2020, Walmart will be closed on Thanksgiving day, which is Nov. 26. Target will also be closed on Thanksgiving. Many people think that the decision is more due to the COVID-19 pandemic than an altruistic attempt to allow employees to spend the holiday with their families. The assumption is that most Americans will choose online shopping in 2020 instead of wearing face masks and dealing with crowds.
What are Walmart's Black Friday plans this year?
According to John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart, “We know this has been a trying year [due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones.”
Walmart will open at midnight on Black Friday (Nov. 27) and remain open for the entire business day. Most of the company's Black Friday deals will be in place.
How will COVID-19 impact holiday shopping?
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more shoppers will likely go online. Last year, 58 percent of shopper-reported purchases were made online. Shoppers will likely continue to shift to buying digitally instead of shopping in crowded stores.
However, there will still be thousands of people cramming into local Walmart stores to get Black Friday deals. Each Walmart will have two dozen Samsung TVs stocked for the Black Friday sale. Other people will wait until Cyber Monday to find their holiday deals.
Large and small retailers have started rolling out digital strategies and offers in anticipation of the holiday shopping season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Options for curbside pickup and delivery will likely be among the Black Friday deals this year.