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Responsible and partly virtual Black Friday in the United States

Posted on Nov 29, 2020 at 4:35 PMUpdated Nov 29, 2020, 5:11 PM

Pandemic or not, Black Friday is sacred in the United States. And there was never any question of postponing it. This year, however, the scenes of jubilation seen in previous years at the entrance of the stores were rare. Some brands have indeed maintained their in-store offers, such as Walmart or Bestbuy, which opened most of their points of sale at 5 a.m. on Friday to launch their promotions.

But many displayed a responsible attitude. Bestbuy preferred to sell the most recent game consoles on the Internet, in order to avoid long queues in its stores, Walmart limited the crowds in its supermarkets to 20% of its capacity, Target facilitated the withdrawal outside and installed mobile terminals to avoid waiting at the checkout. And Home Depot has reduced the number of products on the shelves to increase physical distancing.

Un Cyber Monday record

Many Americans chose to shop on the Internet this weekend, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The organization, which issues health advisories in the country, recommended to avoid large family gatherings or crowds, as can be the case during Black Friday. “Shopping in crowded stores” was ranked among the riskiest activities.

In-store traffic therefore collapsed by 52.1% on Friday, according to Sensormatic Solutions. Spending on the Internet jumped 21.6%, according to data from Adobe Analytics, to set a new record at $ 9 billion. And Cyber ​​Monday, this Monday, should become the most auspicious day in American history for online sales: 10.8 to 12.7 billion dollars should be spent, according to Adobe. This would represent a growth of 15 to 35%.

In general, the pandemic has only accentuated the trends observed in recent years. The growing share of online sales is one, the increasingly spread promotions are another. Most of the big brands launch their offers from the beginning of November and continue them until the end of the year.

Small businesses decimated

Despite the pandemic, Americans are expected to consume more than last year during this time. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumer spending is expected to increase in November and December, from 3.6% to 5.2%, compared to last year, for a total of between 755.3 and 766 , $ 7 billion. Retailers say Americans have cut other budgets, such as travel, and shifted those expenses to food or clothing.

Growth should therefore be greater than in past years. On average, U.S. consumer spending had grown 3.5% per year over the past five years. But this growth should not benefit everyone equally. It is the large retailers that should benefit the most, while many small businesses have been weakened by the crisis. More than 100,000 of them have already closed this year and a fifth of US small businesses say they could go out of business if economic conditions do not improve within six months. Small Business Saturday, an operation that has existed in the United States for ten years to help them and which took place on Saturday, will undoubtedly not be enough to get them out of trouble, despite the spending records it has generated. this year.

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