June 16, 2024

Last year’s Black Friday was vastly different  due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, things are opening back up, but we still need to be careful.

COVID regulations are in place, although they are lighter than they were last year. Pre-pandemic, companies were already starting to spread out and extend their Black Friday sales to encourage people to buy their Christmas presents, but the pandemic pushed this to the extreme. There are Black Friday deals in place at some stores such as Walmart and Target.

Austin Romito, CBU alumnus and executive team leader at Target, said that Target has spread out its Black Friday sales to make sure Black Friday runs smoothly and safely for their customers.

“Similar to last year, we’re spreading our holiday deals, which was a big success last year,” Romito said. “I can say from personal experience that we were all nervous about what Black Friday was going to look like last year because it was so unpredictable. What Target did and what the retail industry did with spreading out Black Friday deals did a lot of good for the guests in both their safety with being able to spread out foot traffic and promote social distancing throughout the shopping season, and for better preserving the holiday.”

Romito said Target has been spreading out its deals through something called the Deals of the Day. Deals of the Day appear on Target’s app and website, and the deals are meant to encourage people to download the app.

“We started rolling them out at the beginning of October,” Romito said. “If you log into the target app, you can get a new holiday deal every single day. You log into the app and the Black Friday deals themselves, a bulk of them, will actually drop on Sunday of Black Friday, so you don’t even have to wait until Black Friday itself for all of your best deals. That has alleviated the fatigue and stress that comes with trying to do your holiday shopping. Most guests can start getting what they want way early in the holiday season.”

Lahela Rosario, senior English major, said she has already started taking advantage of early Black Friday sales.

“Just because I’m such a last-minute planner, this year I wanted to be on it in terms of Christmas gifts because I always have a habit of forgetting someone because I’m so stressed,” Rosario said. “In the past when I used to wait for Black Friday, I used to be stressed out and I used to just get a bunch of stuff. Then I realized I forgot someone, but now I’m starting up earlier. It does help that Black Friday sales start earlier because it gives me more time to buy things.”

Idalie Sandoval, freshman biology major, said she thinks Black Friday will be calmer this year than in pre-pandemic years because of capacity restrictions.

“I think things will be different now because, for Black Friday since the pandemic, everyone’s going to be like, ‘there can only be a certain amount of people (inside at once), but before there would be a whole bunch who could go into one shop,” Sandoval said. “I think now they’re going to be different. They used to have people running all over and people getting trampled, (but now) they’ll only let a certain amount of people in.”

The holidays are right around the corner. Black Friday sales are already out there if you look for them, and they will only increase as we get closer to the day and closer to Christmas, so take advantage of the deals while they are there.

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