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From e-commerce to curbside pickup: What will Black Friday 2020 look like?

Imagine heading home after Thanksgiving dinner without having to deal with the rush of midnight traffic, news footage of customers fighting over a steeply discounted TV, and simply bypassing the tradition where families take to the mall, full on turkey but hungry for sales.

I predict this year, consumers will take to their couches, turning to e-commerce and ditching brand loyalty for the sake of safety and convenience. Not only are consumers adjusting their plans this holiday season, but many retailers are throwing a wrench into the most important shopping day of the year with some stores choosing to close on Thanksgiving and Amazon pushing up Prime Day to fall. Long gone are the days of “Black Friday” for in-store shopping and solely “Cyber Monday” for online shopping. In a reimagined pandemic landscape, we’re moving into an era of “online first” where consumers can shop throughout the season for deals versus waiting for a one-day event.

But does online first mean Black Friday is done for good? In the traditional sense, yes. Typically, Black Friday has been the pinnacle of the holiday season, marking the beginning of a season of deals and massive crowds lining up for the chance to score big. Some retailers have used the holiday as a chance to get ahead of competitors, pushing boundaries by opening stores a day early, so they can be available for eager consumers ready to kick off the holiday shopping season before Thanksgiving dessert even hits the table.

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