Black Friday shopping in the event of a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, and online sales move
The Canadian Press
Posted Friday, November 27, 2020 5:52 AM EST
Last update Friday, Nov 27, 2020, 7:21 am EST
Black Friday has arrived, and it’s the mine of one-day shopping known for its big deals and big crowds.
While rising COVID-19 cases and weeks of overlapping deals have tempered the usual hype of a shopping event, retailers are relying on today’s sales to boost their bottom line.
Retail analysts say some bargain hunters are still expected to shop at brick and mortar stores, where possible, in hopes of striking a bargain.
But they say the majority of this year’s Black Friday purchases are expected to be made online.
Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.
Given the ongoing closings and capacity limits in the store, he says, online sales are expected to be strong today and to remain high during the holiday shopping season.
In fact, the big box stores, which often draw the biggest groups and crowds on Black Friday, have carried most of the promotions online.
However, although the top sellers on Black Friday tend to be big-ticket electronics, it might be some shoppers looking for deals on more staples.
Lisa Hutchson, managing partner at consulting firm JC Williams Group, says some shoppers may benefit from today’s sales for “winter storage and collection”.
Black Friday, which began as a post-Thanksgiving sale in the United States, has gained popularity in Canada in recent years.
It’s also becoming an increasingly important sales event for retailers, along with Cyber Monday, which overshadowed Boxing Day.
Robin Sahota, Canadian managing director and retail leader for professional services company Accenture, says retailers may be offering some special discounts for Cyber Monday.
“It will be a day when retailers are looking to add some sweeteners to attract consumers, especially as Black Friday approaches,” he says. “I think people will be looking for something special on Electronic Mondays.”
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on November 27, 2020.
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