Hardly any line. Empty parking lot. More employees than customers in stores.
These are some of the scenes in the United States in the early morning hours of Black Friday 2020, a shopping holiday that has housed people’s hoardings in the past to make a doorbuster deal before daylight.
But this year, Black Friday seems to be different. The coronovirus epidemic has caused a heightened sense of concern among many consumers to store. Most retailers had their doors closed on Thanksgiving, and opened in the later hours of Black Friday, as they made more doorbuster deals online to allow people to shop safely from the comfort of their home.
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises consumers to shop online shopping on Black Friday, if they are venturing to stores, and favor open-air shopping centers over attached malls .
“It’s really happening … there are no large lines wrapped around the buildings. Consumers have adapted very quickly,” said Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Corsite Research. “I took a video in Bed Bath and Beyond, and there is no one in the entire store.”
“Walmart had no holiday decorations, no Christmas music … You wouldn’t know it was Black Friday,” he added of a store he visited.
Some people took to Twitter on Friday morning to share pictures of nearly empty malls, including the US Mall.
“People are not out,” said David Basuk, managing director of AlixPartners in New York. “I think people feel they can get deals at home.”
He said that those who are going out are using services such as curbside pickup.
Adobe Analytics said that the number of orders completed using curbside pickup has already seen more than 100% growth year through this week.
Meanwhile, according to Adobe data, online, Thanksgiving Day spending rose nearly 22% year over year to $ 5.1 billion, setting a new record.
A survey released in October by ShopperTrac estimated that traffic to retail outlets could decrease by 22% to 25% during the six major weeks of holiday shopping.
Nevertheless, the lines were seen at some stores including Victoria’s Secret for sale on pajamas, and Lululemon.
This story will be developed throughout the day. Please check back for updates.
Follow CNBC’s update on Black Friday here.