The rapid growth in the number of coronavirus cases in America has led to small crowds in malls and stores across the nation on Black Friday. However, there was a spike in online sales, which is a ray of hope for retailers who have been suffering for months due to low sales, causing several businesses have gone bankrupt.
In past holiday seasons, millions of people looked forward to Black Friday sales for their Christmas shopping sprees. However, now because of the pandemic, the already dwindling economy is further on the decline. Many shoppers took to the safer option this year: shopping online.
Several people were shopping to stay at home for a long period due to the rise in coronavirus cases and the sales of gaming consoles, slippers, pajamas, and cookware skyrocketed. A lot of them also shopped for holiday gifts for their friends and family.
Retailers ramped up their safety measures to counter customer concerns about visiting stores on Black Friday. They also provided options for online shoppers and offered deals on their websites as well as various options for contactless pickup.
The CEO of CBL, which owns almost 100 malls in America, commented on the matter, saying that they deliberately made sure that there were fewer crowds and long lines in malls that are common on Black Friday.
The senior vice president of business development at the Mall of America gave his two cents, stating that even though shopping is unusual and different this year, it is the right way to go for everyone’s safety.
The lines outside Mall of America were reduced from several thousand to several hundred. The mall has tried to cater to its customers by expanding the Black Friday sales to more than eight days and offering online deals as well as curbside pickups.
At Macy’s Herald Square, only a few customers were present and the employees regularly sanitized the doorknobs and windows. In The Domain Mall, the workers ensured the shippers did not exceed Texas State’s 75% capacity limit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that face-to-face shopping is a very high-risk activity and have urged people to shop online instead.
According to the National Retail Federation, sales to rise between 3.6% to 5.2%, because they believe people will be celebrating more than ever and rewarding themselves for enduring through the pandemic.