Black Friday is the latest victim of Covid-19

The epidemic was due to our vacations, our sports and our restaurants. And now, after weeks of speculation and speculation, analysts are clear: Covid-19 also referred to the retail belfry of Black Friday.

– It’s not Black Friday. There are no people waiting in line as we are used to. , ”Said Marshal Cohen, senior analyst at The NPD Group Retail. Cohen said he ran retail centers for hours and only saw the lines next to Macy’s flagship store in New York and a suburban Best Buy. “All the other deals, you would have thought, were like any other Friday in November,” he said.

The concept of Black Friday as a unique day before the coronavirus epidemic has waned for years: The proliferation of online shopping and retailers ’desire to avoid the bad press that inevitably followed clashes of wrestling shoppers among TVs to dilute the extreme sports of the day led, although more than half of the country’s population – about 165 million – is expected to go into stores during the long weekend of 2019.

This year, stores began promoting holiday sales as early as October, making “Black Friday” sale prices available long before the Thanksgiving holiday, while Amazon switched Prime Day shopping from July to October. The epidemic also appears to have killed the controversial practice of opening stores on Thanksgiving itself, with most major retail chains announcing it at 5 p.m. Friday.

“It’s definitely a pretty clear feeling that you don’t have to be out today,” said Joseph Feldman, chief executive officer of Telsey Advisory Group. – I think it was planned. The retailers didn’t want to go crazy. ”

Black Friday will also be boosted by broader changes in consumption patterns, said Lizabeth Dunn, chief operating officer of Consumer Growth Partners. “It’s back to buying things, as opposed to years of consumers who focus only on experience,” he said. “People really want to celebrate and connect, and we can’t see each other, so we lean back a bit on … things.”

Feedback from retail analysts and social media users suggests that the largest crowd is in electronics stores or among prospective buyers of game consoles. A photo released by Reuters on Friday morning showed that primarily teenagers and young adults — most, but not all, groups wearing masks — crowded in front of a toy store on the outskirts of Virginia, Washington.

People are very eager for celebration and a relationship and we can’t see each other so we somehow fall back into “buying things”.

But such scenes seemed the exception rather than the rule.

“I went into local Effingham, Illinois, Walmart around 6:20 this morning and was already DEAD !! They said there were about 80 people in line at 5 a.m., but they walked in and out quickly, ”one Facebook user wrote, adding that they only saw about 20 cars in the store’s parking lot when they visited.

“I think a lot of people will be leaving personally this year,” Dunn said.

April Heil is one of those buyers. “Usually on Black Friday, my family and couple go to the mall, or we go to any local store around us, like TJ Maxx, or we shop at some local outdoor malls, but we won’t be this year,” the Pennsylvania resident said.

Heil, 23, said he and his immediate family recently suffered an exposure horror on Covid-19 and refused to undertake unnecessary shopping trips even after negative tests and clean health bills. “I felt a little further away this spring, but now it’s very close to home,” he said.

A coordinated campaign by retailers to direct shoppers into the digital arena has caused a significant drop in typical pedestrian traffic, although this is unlikely to be clear until brands match store and e-sales.

Even the week before Thanksgiving, Edison Trends data showed that online sales in the U.S. grew 167 percent year-over-year at Target, 88 percent at Best Buy and 80 percent at Walmart. Adobe Analytics found that Thanksgiving daily spending rose 22 percent to a record high of $ 5.1 billion.

“I think the retailers were ready. I think they’ve set their promotional cadence long ago, ”Feldman said. “All we’ve heard from those who have recently reported on incomes has been everyone talking about November starting very well.”

The online availability of products and prices reserved for in-store customers is expected to reduce retail sales in the U.S. by about 20 percent, said Greg Maloney, president and CEO of the U.S. retail business at JLL.

“It’s going to be a Christmas tree for a lot of people,” he said. “We’ll see that either the store pickup or the pickup border is the preferred method when you go to a brick and mortar store.”

“We can see that some retailers can see that half, if not more, of their online orders are picked up in stores,” said Nick Shields, a consumer analyst at Third Bridge.

Maloney added that the stores observe significant regional differences. – The other thing that is important to note is that it will be geographical. I’m down in the southeast and I can tell you are just going uphill – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – the malls and shops were extremely busy, he said.

“I was trying to get into Best Buy this morning at 6:30 or 7, and it was very crazy,” said David Marcotte, vice president of global recognitions at Kantar Consulting, although he added that many residents in Tucson, Arizona that the area in which they reside carries on their business more or less in the usual way.

Marcotte attributed this to a combination of a locally low baud rate and a wild west boundary spirit. “Some are cultural. It’s a very liberal mindset, ”he said.

“It’s going to be a truly regional-based level of performance,” Cohen said. “Obviously, the case count is changing it, and there must be some need for safe exit.”

However, for buyers like Heil, this dynamic is still at risk. “I might be online and see if I can make my Christmas purchases this weekend,” he said, adding that the exposure horror has changed his view of holiday shopping traditions.

“This whole situation has definitely affected our plans for Black Friday,” he said. “I knew it [the virus] he was there, and he was far away, and now he is beginning to touch me personally.