Perspectives: Black Friday in a Pandemic

Headline Roundup November 27th, 2020

Each year, retail stores gear up for their busiest time of year as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season. Customers typically gather in line outside of packed stores to get discounts on retail items. But this year, crowds at malls and stores were reportedly low as customers shift to buying gifts online. Many retail stores heightened their COVID-19 coronavirus safety protocols to reassure customers about shopping on Black Friday, while others closed their doors and moved sales completely online; some expressed concern for the economy as the surge in COVID-19 cases threatens the economy’s recovery from the plunge in the spring.

Outlets from across the spectrum covered the smaller Black Friday crowds and the increase in online shopping. Some left-rated outlets highlighted the potential for large crowds to spread the virus; some right- and center-rated sources focused on retail stores that had been hurt by the pandemic counting on Black Friday to boost their sales.

Perspectives: Black Friday in a Pandemic

From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Even before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything about, well, everything, Black Friday was already on its last legs. The post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday kept creeping up earlier and earlier. Retailers started opening their stores before dawn on Friday, then at midnight, encouraging shoppers to wait in line for doorbusters before they had even finished digesting their turkey and mashed potatoes. Eventually they threw caution to the wind and started opening on Thursday afternoons, well before most people had gotten a chance to eat dinner at all.

This year, thanks to the...

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From the Center
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Retailers, who took a financial hit because of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated shutdowns, are setting their sights on Black Friday, cautiously hopeful for a day of improved sales.

Businesses are looking to the usual busiest shopping day of the year to boost low sales. But this Black Friday is expected to see more online purchases amid the coronavirus pandemic rather than millions of in-person shoppers.

Many businesses broke from recent years’ traditions of staying open on Thanksgiving and starting Black Friday sales early and instead increased safety...

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From the Right
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The raging coronavirus pandemic kept crowds thin at malls and stores across the country on Black Friday, but a surge in online shopping offered a small beacon of hope for struggling retailers after months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy.

In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their holiday spending.

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