RIP Black Friday?
The COVID-19 cultural death train continues to roll down the 2020 mountain without any brakes but this news is probably a blessing to all of the workers involved. Retail giants Walmart and Target have announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving day this year, ending the rather psychotic head start to Black Friday:
Two of the biggest retailers in the U.S. are closing their doors on Thanksgiving this year, sidestepping a recent tradition of keeping the lights on for customers to bargain hunt after their turkey dinners.
Instead, Target is encouraging shoppers to start their holiday shopping even earlier, in October.
“Let’s face it: Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn’t a year for crowds,” the retailer said in a blog post on its website, promising savings across its stores and online “earlier than ever.”
This will probably not draw a lot of complaints from Walmart and Target employees who have had their Thanksgiving celebrations cut short or ruined completely by having to prep for the, um, enthusiastic, Black Friday shopping
Honestly, the whole Black Friday thing has always freaked me out. I can barely tolerate people in a calm retail setting. I would end up in jail if somebody hit me with a seven-thousand-inch television that he was losing his mind about saving $200 on.
Many retailers are reportedly “rethinking” Black Friday 2020. Both Walmart and Target have only committed to closing on Thanksgiving, as far as I can tell. Since this is all being done in the name of COVID prevention, it wouldn’t make much sense to just postpone the infection-fest for a day. Both companies have fairly robust online retail presences already, so focusing on that shouldn’t be too difficult for either.
In a recent Morning Briefing I wrote that I am convinced that we are going to be pretty much shut down for the rest of the year anyway. We’ll see more infection spikes here and there, probably at least until it gets cold. The COVID panic machine needs to keep running at full capacity until election day, as we are all aware (but not all admitting).
Will Christmas Be Canceled Too?
It’s a valid question. I’m speaking of the retail Christmas experience. Those of us who celebrate it as a religious holiday and not a secular party and shopping festival wouldn’t mind seeing shift in priorities there, however temporary. No, I don’t think that less time at Walmart is going to mint new Christians overnight but this is going to be interesting.
If most of the in-person Black Friday shopping experience is greatly curtailed or canceled outright, it will probably not only be great for Amazon but the future of all online retail as well. Even brick-and-mortar stalwart retailers like Macy’s were struggling prior to plague times. Now they’re really hurting. The coronavirus merely hastened the inevitable. The American shopping mall isn’t what it used to be, nor will it ever be again.
If Black Friday does proceed in-person with only a later start than in recent years then this “precaution” will be just another PR virtue-signaling bunch of garbage. I’m hoping that all of it goes on sale in October and November online. I might even buy presents for people I barely know then.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.