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Things are different in 2020: Walmart, Target and Best Buy already start sales for Black Friday

The familiar Black Friday experience of long lines and 3 a.m. store openings will look different this year, suggests Business Insider... The first sale starts on November 4th!

Photo: Shutterstock

In a pandemic, retailers must not only keep shoppers safe with precautions, but also deal with inventory and customer issues that may be less willing to spend during a recession.

Recently, three of the most popular Black Friday retailers - Walmart, Best Buy and Target - unveiled their plans for a shopping holiday. Here's what they offer.


Walmart kicks off its online Black Friday sale on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 19:00 pm ET. In total, this month the network will hold three such large-scale promotions. In-store sales will begin at 5:00 am on Saturday, November 7th.

The promotions will focus on toys, electronics and home goods, and will also include annual discounts on Goodyear tires.

Walmart's promotions will kick off next week in the same way: discounts on electronics will be available online on the evening of November 11 and hit stores on the morning of November 14. In another week, there will be discounts on electronics, clothing and interior items.

On the subject: Three Black Fridays: Walmart Announces Big Sale Dates

For all in-store sales, Walmart will limit the number of customers inside to ensure social distancing. According to representatives of the chain, each shopper will receive a disinfected trolley upon entering, and "health ambassadors" will remind them to put on masks.

“By spreading out deals across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect Black Friday in our stores to be safer and more manageable for both our customers and our employees,” said Executive Vice President Scott McCall ...

Best Buy

Best Buy offered a similar short sale plan with titles like "Wish List Sale" during November. After that, all Black Friday promotions will be available on November 22nd.

Stores will be closed on Thanksgiving and reopen at 5:00 AM on Black Friday. As with Walmart, Best Buy will require customers to wear face masks and limit the number of shoppers inside.

Best Buy offers contactless pickup in several options (Walmart will also have this option available).

The chain said that "almost all" stores will offer same day delivery, and free next day delivery will be available nationwide.

Sales on the first day of the week and early holidays increased mail volumes and added stress to the already congested US Postal Service. Best Buy's planners seem to have taken this into account, announcing that buyers will be able to pick up orders from UPS and CVS locations across the US.


Like other major retailers, Target is extending Black Friday.

Some discounts are already in effect: sales take place in different regions every week in November as part of the Black Friday event.

Promotions will be announced every Thursday starting next week (November 12). Pickup will be available as well as same day delivery of some items via Shipt.

As Black Friday discounts are more prevalent than ever, Target's price match guarantee can be helpful. According to the seller, buyers can request a price adjustment for any deal offered at a lower price at Target stores or on the chain's website on Christmas Eve.

On the subject: 7 tips for not spending too much on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday

Precautions due to COVID-19

All three giant retailers have adopted similar strategies to adapt to Black Friday in the COVID-19 era, although each has focused on a different aspect.

The biggest change from previous years was the distribution of sales across different days and even weeks. Discounts will be segmented by product type, so electronics shoppers don't have to compete with household shoppers and parents who buy toys at the last minute.

Walmart's statement focuses on store safety and measures such as sanitized carts, as well as consultant services to ensure shoppers comply with masking and social distancing guidelines.

Best Buy - and, to a lesser extent, Target - have focused on options to receive orders without going into stores. This can be attractive for customers looking to avoid crowded stores during a pandemic, although it can backfire when postal systems are overloaded and packages arrive late.

Retailers seem to be responding to consumer demands. The National Retail Federation said nearly 69% of retailers who responded to the survey expect consumers to start their holiday shopping as early as possible.

The organization predicted that overall holiday spending would drop slightly, to $ 997,79 per consumer, but 60% of shoppers in its survey said they planned to do at least some holiday shopping online.

EMarketer predicted holiday spending this year will be around $ 1 trillion, with a slight decline in in-store sales but a 35% jump in online sales.

Analysts predicted that as shoppers avoid the crowds and engage in sales for a month, ecommerce spending would be around $ 190 billion out of $ 1 trillion in holiday spending, which could exceed the capacity of shipping companies and cause delays.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Target and Walmart will hire thousands of new employees for the holiday season

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7 ways to avoid flying on a crowded plane during a pandemic

6 common mistakes buyers make on Amazon

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