Gone are the days when local news stations would broadcast footage of crowds pouring into big-box stores right after Thanksgiving dinner.
In a time when in-person gatherings are risky, retailers are moving away from Black Friday as a single day of deals and making discounts available over an extended period of time. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the transition of Black Friday from being an in-store experience to an online shopping event.
“This year is far different than years past,” Gabrielle Ochoa, general manager for the Tanger Outlets Westgate, told The Arizona Republic.
In a first, the outlet in Glendale will be closed for Thanksgiving. While there will be a “Great Tanger Friday” the day after Thanksgiving, stores have been offering deals since Nov. 6 to prevent a crush of Black Friday shoppers.
Other malls and stores have similar monthlong deals as a safety precaution.
The Arizona Department of Health Services lists “shopping at a mall” as a “moderate” risk activity during COVID-19, though whether indoors or outdoors is not specified.
As of Nov. 17, COVID-19 cases per 100,000 individuals, hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses and percent positivity had been rising in Arizona since September. Spread of the coronavirus had been classified as “moderate” in Maricopa County as of ADHS’ most recent update on Nov. 12.
Here are four ways stores are adapting for Black Friday in metro Phoenix.
Walmart, Target and more will be closed Thanksgiving Day
Employees and shoppers alike can take a break on Thanksgiving as major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Best Buy and Target are closed for the national holiday.
While this isn’t unusual for stores such as Costco and Apple, the move marks a change for Walmart, Target and Best Buy.
A number of metro Phoenix malls will not be open Thanksgiving Day, including:
- Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale.
- Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix.
- Tanger Outlets Westgate, 6800 N. 95th Ave., Glendale.
- Kierland Commons, 15205 N. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale.
- Chandler Fashion Center, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler.
- Phoenix Premium Outlets, 4976 Premium Outlet Way, Chandler.
- Outlets at Anthem, 4250 W. Anthem Way, Phoenix.
COVID-19 necessitates a bit of a change to Black Friday tradition. Here’s how stores are adapting to this year’s global pandemic.
Several nationwide stores with multiple Valley locations that will be closed include:
- Dick’s Sporting Goods.
- Best Buy.
- Office Depot.
- Home Depot.
MEET SANTA: Where to see and take pictures with Santa Claus in metro Phoenix
Shoppers can expect season-long deals
Black Friday isn’t a single day this year; it’s a season.
At Tanger Outlets, the “best deals of the season” began Nov. 6 in an effort the expand the timeframe of Black Friday, Ochoa said.
Best Buy, Target and Walmart have also rolled out deals throughout the month.
“By spreading deals out across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect the Black Friday experience in our stores will be safer and