Will 2020 be the Death of Black Friday?

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Photo by Kaitlyn Ketchell

Even before Black Friday, stores like Walmart are packed.

By Kaitlyn Ketchell, Reporter

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and more restrictions being put in place over the past few weeks, it’s clear that many things in society, including Black Friday, may never be the same again.

Some might argue that Black Friday was already on its way out over the past few years, with more and more stores pushing Black Friday start times earlier into Thanksgiving Day (taking time away from the workers and their families) and more and more chaos erupting from Black Friday every year. In the days following Black Friday, there’s never a shortage of headlines talking about people going head-to-head over televisions, others getting trampled or beaten, and even some deaths in extreme cases.

One would think that with these risks, is going Black Friday shopping worth it? Apparently, enough people think so for the event to happen annually at almost every store. But for those who aren’t fans of the event, the current state of things might almost be seen as a relief.

Ever since COVID-19 has changed life as we know it, many stores have been instating mask policies and social distancing guidelines to keep people safe. So it’s unlikely that large crowds and absolute turmoil will be allowed at stores this Friday. In fact, it seems that many shoppers expressed their desire not to go shopping on Black Friday this year, with an Instagram poll (@prhs_bear_truth) showing that over 87% surveyed are going to stay home.

This likely means that online shopping will be more of a focus, and events like Cyber Monday (and online Black Friday deals) will become more prominent this year and potentially in the future as well. Many big retail stores like Walmart and Target have also decided to roll out many of their Black Friday deals ahead of time to give shoppers more chances to save on certain products. But whether or not these changes will impact the future of Black Friday, only time will tell.

Regardless of the turnout of Black Friday this year, please remember to stay as safe as possible if you decide to go shopping. Wear a mask, socially distance yourself from others as much as you can, and stay safe!