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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Pandemic fears, online deals, thin U.S. Black Friday crowds

Masked shoppers turned up in smaller numbers at major U.S. retailers including Macy’s Inc, Walmart Inc and Best Buy Co Inc on Black Friday (November 27) as early online deals and worry about the spike in COVID-19 cases dulled enthusiasm for trips to the mall.

Retailers overhauled the traditionally busy shopping day that comes the day after Thanksgiving. Walmart opened stores at 5 a.m. on Friday, directing shoppers to turn right upon entering and proceed along main aisles to shop deals before paying at registers surrounded by plastic barriers.

During this pandemic-ridden year, retailers from Target Corp to Kohl’s Corp and Walmart rolled out online winter holiday promotions in October to capture any holiday-related spending as early as possible.

On Nov. 19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention deemed “going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving” as a high-risk activity.

Adobe Analytics expects Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 to still become the two largest online sales days in history, with Black Friday online sales between $8.9 billion and $10.6 billion.

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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