Black Friday During a Pandemic

Rachel Reinke, Editor

   Black Friday shopping is an American tradition of shopping till they drop, and getting the best deals possible. For those who don’t fancy crazy crowds, long lines just for some deals, Cyber Monday is often a better choice.

  As one would imagine this year’s statistics were pretty different compared to years past, with  average sales per person being down 14 percent and actual shoppers down 2.11 percent from 2019. While these numbers don’t seem crazy, 2.11 percent of shoppers is 4 million U.S shoppers, and 14 percent is approximately $50 per person, or $200 million down from last year, according to the Washington Post.

  Even the biggest businesses had to create accommodations for the COVID 19 pandemic, not even Target is exempt. Senior Ben Van Setters has worked there since last October.

   “This year Black Friday was busy, but more so like a Saturday before a Packer game. I mean that as in we were definitely busy, but due to covid our business was more spread out and we were very prepped with extra seasonal staff to compensate,” said Van Setters.

   Target had put in other Black Friday measures that other retailers adopted a version of.

   Contactless pick up and sales spread out over several days instead of just one or two days were a favorite of retailers big and small.

   Small businesses were affected pretty heavily by the pandemic and many had to rely on Black Friday sales and online sales to stay afloat. Senior Evan Stanislawski works at a small business in the Wausau Center Mall called Flashback.

   “This Black Friday wasn’t as busy as last year probably due to a mixture of COVID and the mall closing, and we had to focus more on online sales this year,” said Stanislawski.

    While Black Friday may not have been as busy any stores still saw major differences of the before and after.

   Junior Megan Leitza works at clothing store Maurices, also in the Wausau Center mall, did not work Black Friday, but she did experience the aftermath.

   “Our Black Friday event went all weekend long but we were busiest on Friday itself, and when I came back we were out of many of our most popular items,” said Leitza.