Businesses make Black Friday changes due to the pandemic

Businesses make Black Friday changes due to the pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The holiday shopping season is ramping up, and stores are bracing for Black Friday. However, the usually crowded and intense holiday shopping day is will probably feel a little different this year.

Big box stores like Walmart and Target have already started making their Black Friday deals available to customers ahead of the big shopping day.

The store manager of the Best Buy store on Poplar in Memphis says they are launching their online deals earlier as well.

“Cyber Week we’re used to having that online traffic because that’s where the deals are. Now we’re saying ‘Hey, here they are’,” Best Buy General Manager Christine Wheaton said.

This year Best Buy kicks off Black Friday deals online nearly a week before the actual day, and it is all because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While Best Buy and other stores brace for uncharted territory, REI will be doing what they have been for the last 6 years: closing all of their locations including stores.

“Distribution centers, activity centers, headquarters, and all of our online ordering for the day of Black Friday and we pay all 13,000 of our employees to go Opt Outside, and spend time in nature with their loved ones,” Annelise Danielson, Store Manager at REI in Memphis, said.

The store’s tradition seems to be in fashion for holiday shoppers this year.

“It just rings true back to our core values. I think it’s something that we need more now than ever,” Danielson said.

While REI will not be processing orders on Black Friday, customers can still make purchases online.

It is likely shoppers will be competing to fill up their virtual carts instead of competing for the last tv on the shelves this year.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and for the first time it’s not all about the crowd control inside the store,” Wheaton said.

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