Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are among a growing list of retailers that have announced Thanksgiving Day store closures this year as consumers increasingly adopt ecommerce, per Insider. This mirrors decisions from last year, when stores closed in part as a safety precaution to limit in-person shopping during the winter COVID-19 surge.
The holiday closures will likely push more consumers online for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, setting the tone for future seasons. With stores being closed, consumers who would’ve normally gone shopping after Thanksgiving Day dinner will likely turn to online shopping to avoid missing out on promotions—making ecommerce a greater focal point than before the pandemic: In 2019, Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales reached $4.13 billion, but this year, that figure is expected to hit a whopping $6.21 billion, per eMarketer forecasts from Insider Intelligence. The same trend will likely hold true for Black Friday—though to a lesser extent, since more stores are expected to be open that day. Consumers may have grown accustomed to online shopping in the last year and might opt for the ecommerce route, and others may just want the convenience of avoiding the long lines that are typical for the busy shopping holidays. But kicking off Thanksgiving weekend with online shopping might set the stage for more ecommerce through the rest of the holiday season.
For the broader holiday season, other pandemic trends are looking sticky: