Get Breaking Alerts on Stocks Before The Mainstream Media

Stay informed of the biggest news on stocks so you can react before 90% of retail investors.
Email address
We guarantee you to keep your privacy
Connect with us
Financial Press
:-how-to-shop-safely-this-black-friday-with-coronavirus-cases-on-the-rise
:-how-to-shop-safely-this-black-friday-with-coronavirus-cases-on-the-rise

Breaking

: How to shop safely this Black Friday with coronavirus cases on the rise

You’ve made your shopping list and checked it twice — but should you hit the stores on Black Friday to save some money on your holiday gifts?

In a typical year, Black Friday sales attract massive crowds. Shoppers line up — with bellies full of turkey and pie — to score blockbuster deals, especially at retailers like Walmart
WMT,
-0.30%

and Target
TGT,
+3.40%
.
Last year, Americans spent a record $68.9 billion between Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday, according to a report from Consumer Growth Partners.

But 2020 of course isn’t a typical year. The U.S. is now averaging more than 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day, as the number of cases has skyrocketed across most of the country. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, public-health officials have issued strong warnings, calling on Americans to skip visiting family and friends during the holiday to avoid spreading the virus.

So how should shoppers plan to accomplish their gift-buying
— and lock in savings — amid a pandemic? Here’s what you need to know:

Spread your shopping out beyond just Black Friday

So-called “Christmas creep” is nothing new. For many years now, retailers have been advertising their holiday promotions earlier and earlier in a bid to boost sales. But often the best discounts on many items could be found only during Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend.

That’s not the case this year. In an effort to avoid attracting major crowds on just a handful of days, retailers have spread the wealth. Stores such as Walmart , Target and Kohl’s
KSS,
+8.90%

aren’t just running sales Thanksgiving weekend. Some have extended sales events throughout the month, while others made the best deals available starting the Sunday before Turkey Day.

That said, it’s not entirely clear if this strategy is panning out as well as retailers intended. “Because these deals are lasting longer, people aren’t in huge hurries to grab them and they’re taking their time shopping to some degree,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.

Be aware that Black Friday shopping poses unique risks

Retailers are taking steps to ensure shoppers’ safety, but the risk isn’t eliminated entirely. Virtually all retailers are requiring customers and employees to wear masks inside stores — and some, like Macy’s
M,
+17.45%
,
will even provide people with masks if they don’t have one on them before entering. And many retailers, including Walmart and JCPenney, are cleaning high-touch areas more regularly.

Get Breaking Stock Alerts

Stay informed of the biggest news on stocks so you can react before 90% of retail investors.
Email address
We are Spam free & Secure 🙂

Some stores, including Kohl’s and Best Buy
BBY,
+3.31%
,
are going a step further than that and introducing capacity limits to reduce crowd sizes in their stores. (Some localities across the country may also impose capacity limits on all retailers.)

Nevertheless, shopping in person isn’t risk-free, even with these precautions. “Any time that you’re around people who are not within your COVID bubble, which includes when you’re out and about shopping and running into other individuals, you have a higher risk of acquiring the virus,” said Dr. Ravina Kullar, a fellow and spokesperson at the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

And shoppers shouldn’t be tricked into a false sense of security by measures sure as temperature checks, Kullar said. “Temperature checks don’t really help catch the virus because many people are pre-symptomatic,” she said. Studies have shown that people can be contagious with the virus that causes COVID-19 without displaying symptoms.

See also: Macy’s reimagined this year’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and one analyst says stores should also get a revamp

What’s more,
shopping at stores during Black Friday might pose a higher risk than other
shopping trips, such as running to the grocery store.

“Black Friday shopping is different than grocery shopping because
groceries usually involve a shopping cart which enables people to keep their distance,” Dr.
Teresa Bartlett, senior medical officer at insurance claims company Sedgwick.

Plus, when you’re in a grocery store, you tend to have a specific list. Comparatively, people tend to browse the aisles more when retail shopping more slowly — especially in search of the best deals — which increases the time spent in the store and thus the risk involved.

Shopping online is the safest bet this year

Surfing the best deals on the internet is the safest way to shop this Black Friday. But you don’t need to limit yourself to online giants like Amazon
AMZN,
-0.35%
.


Macy’s has partnered with DoorDash to provide same-day delivery for those shopping from home.

Indeed, most
brick-and-mortar retailers are offering their best discounts online this year. “I
have seen a handful of in-store-only deals, but for the most part stores are
making sure that consumers can shop in the way that makes them the most
comfortable,” said Trae Bodge, shopping expert.

For shoppers who want more instant gratification rather than
waiting for items to arrive in the mail, a good compromise is to utilize the “buy
online, pick up in store” or curbside pickup options. More retailers are
offering these this year.

Some retailers have also ramped up their same-day delivery.
Macy’s, for instance, has partnered with DoorDash to provide same-day delivery
for those shopping from home.

“The deal is not worth risking your health,” Bartlett said.

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Breaking

Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:41 p.m. ET First Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 3:46 p.m. ET Much of the channel’s sports programming...

Breaking

Earnings Outlook Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:26 p.m. ET Company has shaken up its film strategy with HBO Max and participated in a...

Breaking

Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:21 p.m. ET First Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 11:44 a.m. ET In recent weeks, Japan has declared...

Breaking

Earnings Outlook Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:08 p.m. ET Investors’ gusto, which led to 33% gain in 2020, rooted in advertising from more...

Get Breaking Stock Alerts

Stay informed of the biggest news on stocks so you can react before 90% of retail investors.
Email address
We are Spam free & Secure :)

Get Breaking Stock Alerts

Email address

Get Breaking Stock Alerts

Stay informed of the biggest news on stocks so you can react before 90% of retail investors.
Email address