Black Friday 2020: Is It Canceled, Store Closings, And Everything We Know

It's been an incredibly strange and brutal year, but somehow, it's already August, and the busy holiday shopping season will be here before we know it. In the United States, Black Friday is known as the best time of year to save money on big-ticket items, to cross all those names off your shopping list and splurge for yourself a little (or a lot) too. But with COVID-19 still a very real threat in the US, some are wondering whether Black Friday 2020 has been canceled entirely.

Fortunately, Black Friday has been developing a strong online presence for years now. With companies like Amazon proving that huge online sales like Prime Day can be a major success, retailers have slowly been offering more noteworthy Black Friday deals online over the years, and this year will be no exception. In fact, with retailers looking to avoid mass crowds that normally push into stores on Black Friday, there's even greater incentive to make sure the best deals are also available online--and earlier.

So what has been confirmed so far regarding retailers' plans for Black Friday 2020? Here's what we know right now about Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping this year.

Many stores are closing on Thanksgiving Day

Walmart led the charge in announcing all Walmart and Sam's Club locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), breaking a decade-long tradition in which Black Friday offers would be available in-store as early as Thanksgiving evening. Soon after, Target announced its stores will close on Thanksgiving Day as well.

While certainly the best decision to allow employees more time with their families and to avoid huge crowds in stores on Thanksgiving, this is a major change to the typical rhythm of Black Friday, as we're used to seeing some of the best doorbuster deals kick off on Thanksgiving Day. As a result, we expect to see some great online-only doorbusters this Thanksgiving and an overall shift in the deals schedule.

You can check out more of the major retailers who have confirmed they're closing their doors on Thanksgiving this year below. Of course, some stores traditionally close on Thanksgiving Day every year, such as Apple and Costco, and it's likely they'll remain closed this year as well.

Confirmed stores that are closing on Thanksgiving Day 2020

Walmart / Sam's Club
Best Buy
Dick's Sporting Goods
TJ Maxx
Bed Bath & Beyond
Office Depot

Black Friday deals may start as early as October

To avoid the massive rush of people visiting stores in mid to late November, it seems Black Friday-level deals will start rolling out much earlier this year to space out the promotions--perhaps as early as October. At least one retailer, Target, has confirmed that its "biggest holiday deals" will be available starting in October--and you won't have to go to a store to take advantage of them.

In a press release, Target stated, "Our biggest holiday deals will be available earlier than ever, so you can shop safely and conveniently without worrying about missing out on deals that usually come later in the season. Starting in October and continuing throughout the season, you’ll find Target’s lowest prices of the year on items in stores and online."

While other retailers haven't yet committed to offering Black Friday deals early, this is a natural progression of the way Black Friday has been unfolding in recent years. Black Friday ads usually start to leak in late October, and some retailers have designated the entire month of November as a major deals period. Gone are the days when Black Friday stuck to a single week--the frenzy has been expanding for several years now, so it's no huge surprise that those promotions may now kick off in October at some stores as part of an overall holiday push.

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