BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Retailers around the U.S. are changing up their traditional Black Friday plans in hopes of making the major shopping season safer for the public as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into the holidays. The CDC included “shopping in crowded stores before, on or after Thanksgiving” in their list of “high risk” activities, and recommends that people shop online this year.
In the past few years, there has been a pushback against stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, with many major chains opening either late Thanksgiving night or early on Black Friday. But this year, several major retailers have already announced they will be closed all day for Thanksgiving, including Best Buy, Kohl’s, Walmart, Target and Home Depot.
Instead, several stores are shifting to offer several weeks of online deals ahead of Black Friday. By offering online deals earlier in the season, it should allow retailers more time to deal with the increase in online shopping, shipping and curbside pickups.
The website BlackFriday.com has compiled a list of Black Friday plans from some of the major retailers.
Walmart announced they will spread out their Black Friday deals into three events both online and in stores, from Nov. 4-7, Nov. 11-14 and Nov. 25-27.
“Each savings event will begin online at Walmart.com and continue in Walmart stores. And new this year, customers will have the option to pick up their online Black Friday order through Walmart’s contact-free curbside pickup service,” the company said in a press release.
You can read about Walmart’s full plans here.
Target is offering Black Friday pricing through November, with weeklong discounts and digital deals starting Nov. 1. They’re also extending their Price Match guarantee beyond 14 days during the holiday season.
Bed Bath & Beyond is also stretching out their savings between Oct. 16 through Dec. 24, with a different daily deal between Nov. 2 and Dec. 24, the company announced online.
Home Depot is ditching the traditional Black Friday frenzy and offering deals throughout November and December, both in the store and online. “Say goodbye to one day of frenzied shopping and enjoy Black Friday savings all season long without the stress and crowds,” they said online.
After a record-setting Prime Day in October, Amazon is already offering holiday sales on their website.
Like many retailers, Target saw a boom in online ordering and curbside pickup, with their Drive Up and Order Pickup service nearly quadrupling in the first six months of 2020, the company said online. They plan to double the number of staff who focus on Drive Up and Order Pickup services during the holiday shopping season, and they’re increasing hires at their distribution centers.
Kohl’s also announced they’re hiring seasonal workers to support the anticipated increase in demand from both in-store and online shopping this year.
“We know customers will be shopping online more than ever this year and we’re staffing accordingly to support increased digital fulfillment efforts,” they said on their website.