Why and How Black Friday 2020 Is Different

Officially, Black Friday 2020 arrives on Friday, November 27th this year. Unofficially, it’s happening right now, and throughout the month of November. For example, Amazon continues to run early deals on Echo devices, many of them matching last month’s Prime Day prices. Things like Echo Show 8 for $65 is a spectacular deal right now!

With the coronavirus pandemic raging on, Black Friday 2020 may look a bit different than previous years. Check out the details you need to know.

But while great sale prices aren’t going to be changing when it comes to Black Friday, 2020’s version is shaping up to be a very different kind of shopping experience than any holiday shopping weekend in recent memory. So exactly how and why is Black Friday 2020 going to be different?

Limited Inventories?

With ongoing inventory issues due to the extended global pandemic, not to mention the need for retailers to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees, it’s likely that there will be no throngs of expectant customers lining up for hours ahead of any massive doorbuster sale items this year. See, who said a pandemic was all bad?

We have all had to make many shopping adjustments over the past nine months already and in fact we are getting used to doing so.

Retailers are requiring customers to wear face coverings. Unless their policies change between now and Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to assume that face coverings will be required for Black Friday sales as well. Additionally, the numbers allowed into a store and to shop will be controlled too, so the habit of family shopping or shopping with friends will be limited most likely.

Online Sales

Shopping online has been setting records year after year, but this year watch what happens. It will challenge the in-store shopping experience as the way to shop. Everyone has geared up to prepare for it and I think most of us are ready to take advantage of it rather than risk in-store shopping if we don’t have to do it!

Free Shipping Too?

Keep your eyes open for pop-up free shipping promos all through the holiday season as it will be offered if and when a boost is needed to get people to spend more. Retailers have suffered so badly that they will be forced to add free shipping at different spending levels to incentivize us. And we all know how annoying it is to pay for shipping, even when we are getting a bargain on an item.

Store Closings on Thanksgiving?

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a number of retailers are closing their physical stores on Thanksgiving this year and ending a long-standing holiday shopping tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales on Thursday, before the turkey has even cooled.

Already announced as being closed on the Thanksgiving holiday this year are:

Best Buy

  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Most stores open at 5 AM

The electronics chain will hold a series of short (one- to four-day), branded sales events and discounts advertised as Black Friday deals go on sale November 22. (Members of the store’s My Best Buy program get early access November 16 and 17.)

BJ’s Wholesale Club

  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (also closed in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 7 AM

BJ’s customarily closes on Thanksgiving. The membership club’s Black Friday deals drop on November 20 (following 15 days of early bird specials) and run through the end of the month, with additional “five-day deals” rolling out on Turkey Day.

Costco Wholesale

  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (also closed in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Most stores open at 9 AM

Costco traditionally closes on Thanksgiving. The warehouse club’s holiday discounts have already started with special deals popping up on Thanksgiving (online only), Black Friday weekend, and Cyber Monday (November 30). Most stores will open an hour earlier than usual on Black Friday.

The Home Depot

  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (also closed in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Open, check your local store for hours

The Home Depot traditionally closes on Thanksgiving. It was one of the first major retailers to unveil plans for an extended Black Friday, announcing in early September that its seasonal deals would be available through much of November and December. Holiday discounts start today on November 6 for online shoppers and November 8 at stores.

J.C. Penney

  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 5 AM

The department store, which is emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with its sale in late October to two mall-focused property firms, is holding weekend sales events all November and offering limited-time Black Friday pricing on select items throughout the month.


  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 5 AM

In recent years, Kohl’s has kicked off Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving afternoon and stayed open all night. This year, the department store chain joined the trend of taking Turkey Day off and says it will make Black Friday week deals available online and in the store, with a priority on contactless options like drive-up pickup for online orders.


  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (also closed in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 6 AM

Lowe’s will not be open on Thanksgiving, in keeping with its usual holiday practice. The home improvement chain introduced a “Season of Savings” with new online-only deals dropping daily through December 2 and added self-service lockers for contactless pickup of orders. Stores will open on their normal schedule on Black Friday.


  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Most stores open at 5 AM

Macy’s stores will be closed on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2012. (The pandemic also forced a reimagining of the company’s iconic holiday parade, which will be staged as a largely stationary, television-only event around the flagship Macy’s in midtown Manhattan in New York City.) Black Friday discounts kick in on November 16, but shoppers can preview deals online and bookmark their favorites that started November 4, with “early access” specials available now.


  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 7 AM

Target launched “Black Friday Now” pricing November 1, with new weekly deals announced each Thursday and starting each Sunday throughout the month. Stores will operate on their usual weekday schedule on Black Friday proper. Customers planning to shop in the store over the holidays can check online to see if there’s a line at the door and even reserve a spot.


  • Thanksgiving 2020: Closed (open in 2019)
  • Black Friday 2020: Stores open at 5 AM

“Deals for Days” sales events started November 4, with new specials rolling out at set intervals and 5 AM store openings on November 7, 14, and 27. (No doorbuster free-for-alls as customers will be lined up for single entry.) There will also be contact-free curbside pickup for Black Friday deals at most stores.

Walmart-Owned Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club, which traditionally closes on Thanksgiving, is extending its annual “Thanks-Savings” sale from four days to ten days, running November 20 through 29. Sam’s Club stores will open at 10 AM Black Friday (8 AM for Plus members, 7 AM for curbside orders).

The Best Part About What We DO Know for Black Friday 2020

We don’t just know the dates and general plans, but we already know some of the great deals, too. Walmart has pulled back the curtain to reveal some of the hottest deals.

Black Friday Event #1 started online at Walmart.com on November 4 at 7 PM ET, offering deals on toys, electronics, and home products. More deals will become available on November 7 online at 12 AM ET and in stores at 5 AM local time. Walmart said it’ll also hold its annual tire event in stores and online November 7-13.

Event #2 will start online on November 11 at 7 PM ET and offer deals on electronics like TVs, computers, and tablets, Walmart said. Event #2 will also include savings on movies, music, apparel, home, and more. Additional deals will become available online on November 14 at 12 AM ET and in stores at 5 AM local time. Walmart said it’ll also have “its biggest wireless phone event ever” with deals on Apple iPhones and Samsung phones, online and in stores on November 14.

Event #3 will start online on November 25 at 7 PM ET, with additional deals being offered online on November 27 (actual Black Friday) at 12 AM ET and in stores at 5 AM local time. Walmart said its third savings event will include even more deals on electronics, toys, apparel and home, as well as seasonal decor.

During the in-store events, Walmart said it will meter customers into stores to reduce congestion and help with social distancing. Store employees will also give customers sanitized shopping carts and remind them to put on face masks.

Final Thoughts

Getting a TV like a Roku 42-inch TV for just $88 or the 55-inch TCL 4 Series Roku TV for just $148 is truly a deal. A lot of these 2020 prices represent historic lows, so inventory is likely to go quickly. In other words, do not wait for Black Friday. If you spot something you want (and actually need), then act now. Oh, and make sure you understand exactly what technologies you are getting and paying for before you sign on for it!

This is true only when you need something and as I always say, a bargain is never a bargain if you aren’t going to actually use something you buy. After spending 30+ years in a retail store environment, I have learned that lesson the hard way!

Be a smart shopper and know what the deals are before you shop. The rules for that haven’t changed and the smart shopper is always a winner.

Are you excited about shopping for the holidays this year and are you going to be out doing it? Are your finances going to allow your shopping habits to resume to pre-pandemic levels or are you going to be cutting back this year, perhaps dramatically?

Related Posts:
Black Friday Sales and Smart Money Prep
Missed Black Friday Deals…Is It Too Late for Great Bargains?
Black Friday Shopping Tips to Save You Time & Money

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