The Black Friday lines this year might become more about online fashion lines.
Instead of camping out for doorbuster deals in the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping craze, people might be more likely to be camping out in their homes with concerns about leaving amid the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
A Deloitte poll showed that 57% of consumers are anxious about shopping in a brick-and-mortar store or mall this holiday season because of the coronavirus pandemic. That survey was taken Oct. 9 to Nov. 2 and indicated a 50% rise in anxiety levels from September, but anxiety is only increasing as hospitalizations, deaths and family gatherings do.
It was the first time the survey even showed that more consumers planned to do Black Friday shopping online (61%) than in stores (54%).
“My guess is that percentage is probably even higher now,” Deloitte Vice Chairman Rod Sides told CNBC.
“We’re not going to have a meaningful vaccine rollout, even with the great news this week, in time to have people feel comfortable from a holiday perspective. So I think this [holiday shopping season] is going to turn out to be predominantly online.”
Many stores advertised “Black Friday” deals starting early in anticipation of the drop in Friday sales. That partly was to help avoid crowds – which still might not be a problem, with the Deloitte survey showing that 74% of consumers plan to shop online this week to avoid crowds.
There have been so many promotions that it blurs the lines of a 24-hour Black Friday. The deals are available sooner and longer. The lines are unnecessary and sometimes scary, even without a pandemic. But holiday traditions die hard.