Every year, millions of people partake in Thanksgiving holiday sales. Last year, Americans spent $7.4 billion online on Black Friday and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day, according to CNN. After families wrap up their meals, some get ready to camp out all night — waiting in long lines outside of stores to rush in to greet the sales that await them. This has been the tradition for years.
Black Friday sales are practically synonymous with crowds and people trampling over each other to get to the best deals. But that type of behavior doesn’t fly when there’s an ongoing pandemic. So how are stores going to deal with crowds this year?
If you plan to partake in Black Friday mania, there are many things to keep in mind. From new COVID policies in stores to returning your impulse buys, here’s how to make sure you’re completely ready to shop.
Brick-and-mortar stores have a high chance of spreading COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals are 18.7 times more likely to catch COVID-19 in closed air environments —which includes shops you might visit in person.
For items that can't be bought online, stores like J. C. Penney plan to require all patrons to wear face masks in their stores. So wear your mask — as you always should when you’re out — and bring along hand sanitizer.
Some major department stores like Macy’s will continue with their plan to provide “enhanced health and safety standards” to their store, requiring employees to wear protective gear and adding additional sanitization stations. They’re also planning to employ crowd control strategies in closed air stores to combat the spread of the virus. This year Macy’s is encouraging their customers to do their shopping online and use their app as a way to minimize the crowds.
Other stores like Walmart plan on increasing their hours to allow people to shop more.
THE NEW DEAL
Unlike traditional years, stores like Walmart, Target and J. C. Penney are offering holiday deals even earlier than usual. Some are already happening right now spreading out sales throughout the holiday season.
During the holiday time, stores like Walmart and Target will make it easier to ship items to your home. Partnering with third-party services like Shipt, Target is promising same-day delivery for most items.
Other stores like Nordstrom plan to offer free curbside pick up — incentivizing online ordering instead of traditional in-person shopping for safety purposes
TRY-ONS AND RETURNS
If you haven’t noticed, stores aren’t allowing customers to try on merchandise before shopping but that’s changing for some stores. Nordstrom is opening up its fitting rooms to try on clothes. Clothes that are tried on but not bought will be disinfected before being placed back on store shelves.
Clothing that is bought and returned will follow the same procedure — disinfecting them before reselling once again.
Keep in mind that under COVID, some items aren't returnable.