Cyber Monday and Black Friday, one and the same this year?

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COVID-19 pandemic merges Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world hard in 2020, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only two of the events impacted. Over recent years, Black Friday shopping has turned into more of a week of online shopping, but this year it has taken over the whole month of November. Because of this, Cyber Monday appears differently this year. 

Black Friday, celebrated the day after Thanksgiving Day, is November 27 this year. Cyber Monday, celebrated the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day, is November 30. Often Cyber Monday is marker for holiday shopping season, but this year it seems to act as, rather, the indicator of the end of this shopping season. 

TechRader writes that retailers have offered deals to sell various items like TV’s, kitchen appliances, and more, and that “so Cyber Monday represents the final push to clear out their remaining stock for holiday shoppers.” 

One reason why—for 2020 specifically—Cyber Monday is acting as indicator of the end of online holiday shopping season is due to potential shipping delays. As Cyber Monday lands on November 30, that is 25 days before Christmas and 10 days before Hannukah. 

“… Given shipping delay fears of most retailers, they will want you to shop in November, not December; the prices are likely to reflect their desire to have you shop on Cyber Monday or before,” TechRader writes. 

As a large number of stores are offering Black Friday shopping either primarily or solely online, online sales and traffic are expected to rise this year. Some retail stores that have closed this year for Black Friday—adding to the boost in online presence—include Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, and JC Penny, along with others. This is the first year Walmart has closed for Black Friday since the late 1980s, reported USA Today

These stores closed for the holiday, though, were among the numerous retails stores that offered early online deals. Big retailers like Walmart, TargetBest Buy, and Amazon began their holiday deals early in the month, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just the tip of the iceberg.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deemed “shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday” as a low-risk activity. They also deemed “going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving” as a high-risk activity this holiday. This has, additionally, influenced individuals to turn toward online shopping instead of in-person. 

TechRader warns the public to expect sale prices to return to their usual prices at the end of Cyber Monday—December 1 at midnight. Cyber Monday this year, though, is expected to be even bigger than previous years due to the uptick in online shopping with the pandemic, according to TechRader. TechRader writes that Cyber Monday 2019 drew in $9.2 billion in revenue, compared to Black Friday 2019 that drew $7.4 billion. 

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