Black Friday bargains can be found online to escape COVID-19

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New York | COVID-19 uncertainty hangs over the business success of “Black Friday” this year, but Americans, having been able to save on travel or outings, appear to be flocking to online bargains.

One thing is certain, there will be no endless queues in front of the stores this Friday.

A few die-hards have braved the cold in certain regions of the United States, masked, forming scattered lines, social distance obliges.

But the fear of being infected with COVID-19 has discouraged a large number of customers from crowding in front of shops even before they opened as was the tradition before the pandemic.

It is therefore on the Internet that consumers flock to take advantage of the sales.

Black Friday bargains can be found online to escape COVID-19

Black Friday sales on the internet are expected to jump 20% to 42% from last year, with expected spending between $ 8.9 and $ 10.6 billion, according to forecasts from Adobe, which also anticipates a 33% increase for the entire year-end holiday season.

This “Black Friday” and “Cyber ​​Monday” which will follow, Monday, could “become the two days of online sales the most important in history”, notes Adobe in its press release.

But independent research firm CFRA points out that for the first time since 2008, there shouldn’t be this year of total sales growth during the end-of-year promotion season, in November and December, due to the closing of stores.

For American traders, Black Friday, which marks the opening of Christmas shopping, is traditionally a very important day, if not the most important of the year.

This year however, it is only one day of promotion among many others, “many retailers having started their sales earlier”, notes Nick Shieds, analyst for Third Bridge.

“It’s as if the promotion season is longer and doesn’t just last 12 or 24 hours,” he told AFP Nick Shieds.

“Large discounts and aggressive promotions from early November have prompted consumers to open their wallets earlier,” but the many uncertainties “are still delaying purchases of remaining gifts,” said Taylor Schreiner, head of IT company Adobe Digital Insights.

Black Friday bargains can be found online to escape COVID-19

Increasing sales

Escaping Thursday from the traditional family Thanksgiving meal, celebrated in smaller groups because of COVID-19, many Americans have strummed on their smartphones, watching for the crossed out prices, making this day a “record” Thanksgiving for online sales , “With more than 5 billion dollars spent”, details Taylor Schreiner.

Almost half of online sales were made from a smartphone, a record.

U.S. retailers are also very optimistic about year-end sales, anticipating an increase of between 3.6 and 5.2% from 2019, according to the National Retailers Federation (NRF).

“Consumers have shown that they are excited about the holidays and willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a difficult year,” said Federation official Matthew in a statement. Shay.

He is counting on a “good end to the holiday season”. The federation also emphasizes working with the authorities to promote the opening of stores.

Black Friday bargains can be found online to escape COVID-19

But, uncertainty remains as the United States faces a new wave of COVID-19, with unprecedented rates of contamination, forcing many authorities to close new restaurants, bars, schools, and in some cases recommending their inhabitants to limit non-compulsory outings.

In addition, the pandemic has increased inequalities. More than 20 million Americans, having lost their jobs, are still living on aid from the federal government.

And, the situation could become critical if elected officials in Congress fail to agree to extend the aid measures which are due to expire on Boxing Day.

It would then be 12 million unemployed who could find themselves without resources.

President-elect Joe Biden has made voting on a new stimulus package a priority.

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