Black Friday Bust: Final Nail In The Economic Disaster That Has Been Covid Lockdowns

Written By BlabberBuzz | Saturday, 28 November 2020 09:20

As Americans heeded COVID-19 guidelines to not line up outside stores then pack them out on Black Friday as advised by the CDC, the day itself was a bust - with pockets of success - but economists are concerned.

Thanksgiving had been named the "mother of all superspreaders" with millions of Americans not complying to measures and flying home to see their families, many of which ignoring social distancing rules and ignoring masks once they were in their homes.

It moved swiftly into a related neglect of the virus on Friday. People ran through malls in Florida to get to the stores first and lines of people set overnight in North Carolina and even in some stores in New York City.

It comes during an occurring spike in the number of cases and hospitalizations; the US has the worst COVID issue of anywhere in the world.

More than 200,000 have died and another 40,000 are expected to die before a vaccine becomes widely available in 2021.

For those who comply, stores are moving their Black Friday deals online and stocking pickup options as a last hold at sales before the year ends and they proceed into the dark days of winter with the pandemic still at loose.

On November 19, the CDC deemed "going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving" as a dangerous activity. The CDC advised people to restrict any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets.

Instead, the health agency recommends shopping online, visiting outdoor markets or using curbside pickup, where workers bring orders to you in the parking lot.

Customly, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has begun the holiday shopping season in the United States, with store owners giving major discounts and turning a significant profit.

But during this pandemic-stricken year, big retailers from Target Corp to Kohl's Corp and Walmart rolled out online winter holiday promotions in October to capture any holiday-related spending as soon as possible.

Black Friday is still assumed to tell the title of the liveliest shopping day this year after retailers were successful in moving customers to spend early by giving big discounts in mid-October.

The National Retail Federation forecasts US holiday retail sales will grow between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019, for a total of $755.3 billion to $766.7 billion. That correlates with an average yearly gain of 2.5% over the past five years.

Online sales could earn even bigger gains going into the holidays with more than half of US shoppers expected to shop online on Black Friday.

Black Friday is projected to generate $10 billion in online sales, a 39 per cent increase from the year ago period, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures sales at 80 of the top 100 US online retailers.

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