Black Friday has gotten a bad rep in recent years.
From shoplifting to stampedes, nothing rings in the holidays more fondly than a couple of softball moms doing battle in the aisles over the last bargain Barbie on the shelf.
Violence aside, though, Black Friday is the high holiday for serial shoppers. Social distancing and mask-wearing are not going to keep them away from the thrill of the deal at a brick and mortar store. But it does beg a few questions. Here are some answers.
Is Black Friday canceled this year?
The answer is a resounding NO!
Camping out at Best Buy to snag a giant TV at rock-bottom prices might not be a thing this year, despite the pandemic, a total of 9% of those surveyed by Shopkick are planning to shop in-store only; 71% said they would shop both online and in-store and 13% said they would exclusively shop online.
How is shopping different this year?
Black Friday deals have been happening since the Halloween candy was cleared off the shelves. Many retailers are already offering online and in-store deals with lengthier sale periods to keep shoppers safe and happy.
Like Work the Metal in Louisville, KY, some stores have made special accommodations to keep shoppers safe, like widening the aisles, adding cash registers to avoid congestion, and limiting the number of shoppers allowed in the store at any one time. They are even offering shopping appointments.
How can I get the best deals?
•Be prepared with a game plan, and most importantly, a budget.
•Study the circulars and online ads.
•Collect online coupon codes.
•Know the pre-discount prices, so you know if you are truly getting a bargain.
•Shop online early to avoid shipping delays.
•Use ship-to-store with curbside pickup to avoid shipping costs.
•Downloads apps, like Dealnews, to view the most updated sales.
I own a business; how can I keep my customers and employees safe?
•Keep high-touch areas clean and sanitize often.
•Provide hand-sanitizing stations at store entrances.
•Limit the number of shoppers in the store at any one time.
•Require shoppers and employees to wear a mask (already a mandate in most states).
•Install barriers between checkout aisles and between the customer and cashier.
•Offer curbside pickup.
Tiffany Black, CUBDP Manager
Members Choice Credit Union