Black Friday sales start earlier due to COVID-19 epidemic in U.S.
Web Editor:International Daily 國際日報
Americans are preparing to embrace this year's Black Friday on November 27, but for some, the holiday shopping spree already started a while ago as companies have had to change their approach due to the COVID-19 epidemic.A year ago, most customers would wait outside stores and run into store for the best deal of the year. But for this year's Black Friday, customers are turning to shopping online amid virus fears.Black Friday started much earlier this year largely because of Walmart's plan to keep people safe, while still keeping them shopping. Instead of focusing on a single day, it broke up Black Friday into three separate events, the first of which began a couple of weeks ago.Like many other brick and mortar operations, Walmart has combined Black Friday in-store specials with online promotions."We thought we would see more customers take advantage of these early sales, but from our initial numbers we didn't see that case. And we're starting to notice that more and more people are waiting for the last minute. This year it's sort of a slow grind upwards as we get closer and closer to Black Friday," said Norman Fong, co-founder of BuyVia.Fong heads BuyVia, a mobile app and website that searches for the best online deals. He said the pandemic has accelerated the shift from in-store to online shopping by at least five years. Fong also said this year's Black Friday is blurring the lines with the day traditionally set aside for online shopping -- Cyber Monday."With the pandemic and more and more people shopping online, you could say what's the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Because Black Friday traditionally has been a day for retailers, physical retailers. Is it turning into the same thing as Cyber Monday? Yes," said Fong.