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How to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Safely This Year

A group of people window shopping at a mall.

2020 has been a challenging year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to change how we work, learn, socialize, and even shop. Are you planning to skip the in-person shopping spree this Black Friday? Thanks to numerous online shopping options and other creative solutions, you don’t have to miss out on the season’s best deals. Here’s how the retail industry has pivoted to make Christmas shopping safer in 2020.

Extended Online Sales

This year, Black Friday is on November 27—it’s always the day after Thanksgiving. For years now, most retailers haven’t limited their deals to just this one day. First, Black Friday expanded to include the entire weekend with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Gradually, Black Friday has become a month-long event. It will probably feel even longer this year.

Many retailers had Black Friday previews as early as October, with in-store and online deals continuing throughout November and December. This way, there isn’t a mad dash to snag the best deals. Pre-emptive sales are also good for another reason: they let you soak up time with the family on Thanksgiving weekend instead of being glued to your computer or cell phone, scoping out limited-time deals before they expire.

Some of the biggest retailers out there—including Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s—have even announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving. With this in mind, it’s unlikely brick-and-mortar stores will be open to the masses on Black Friday, either. The prediction is that many stores will be closed to in-person guests, and online shopping will reign supreme.

Curbside Pick-Up or Delivery

The introduction of convenient curbside pick-up has been one of the biggest shopping-related changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows consumers to support local retailers on Black Friday—simply shop online and arrange to pick up your order the same day. A store clerk brings the purchase straight to your car, so you don’t risk mingling with others in the checkout line.

Delivery is another convenient option—you don’t even have to leave your house! Not all stores offer this, but many have made their products available for home delivery on and around Black Friday.

Lottery System

With in-store restrictions in place across the country, many retailers are trying to figure out a workaround. One prediction is that some stores will use a lottery system, where shoppers can win (or even pay to reserve) a time slot for in-person shopping.

For instance, a store could set up a system that allows 25 people to shop at once within a designated 30- to 60-minute window. This could be a nice change from previous years when lines wrapped around the building as crowds gathered before the store even opened. With a specific time to shop, you can get in without waiting in the cold and check out quickly, no need to buck the crowds.

A mostly online Black Friday is sounding better and better! It’s just the silver lining we need to wrap up 2020. Professional holiday light installation is another service you may want to utilize this year. Your Holiday Lights® specializes in hanging residential and commercial Christmas lights, with locally owned and operated service providers located around the country.

In addition to hanging your Christmas lights, our fellow Neighborly brands can help you prepare your home for the holidays. Find services ranging from plumbing and heating to cleaning and electrical work. And speaking of online shopping, our sister brand, Molly Maid, offers gift certificates for cleaning services. What a great present to give your loved ones this year!

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