It’s mid-January and many people are just finally taking the last of their holiday decorations down. But, it’s not too soon for Target to make its first major announcement about the 2021 holiday season.
Last year, Target decided to close all of its stores on Thanksgiving, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoppers hoping to make a post-Thanksgiving meal Target run in 2021 are also going to have to wait until Black Friday as the company announced it will keep its stores closed on Thanksgiving again this year.
The announcement came as Target shared its holiday sales performance numbers from 2020. The retailer totally overhauled its strategy to meet the new demands brought on by the ongoing public health crisis and saw big success.
“With safety top-of-mind, we took a completely new approach to Black Friday, offering big savings throughout the entire season and enhancing our Price Match Policy to provide guests with the ultimate assurance that they could count on Target for the best deals, regardless of when or how they chose to shop,” Target said in its official corporate press release. “The response was so positive that we’ll carry it forward this year, keeping our Target stores closed all day long on Thanksgiving Day.”
Target changed its Black Friday deals from a two- or three-day sales event to a month-long promotion called “Black Friday Now.” The deals were available on a rotating basis throughout the month and shoppers could take advantage of them either online or at their nearest Target location.
Black Friday shopper Joanna Krase, 37, of Burbank, wearing a face mask checks the bargains at a Target store at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
The company said its customers took advantage of online shopping and pickup opportunities in record numbers, as a result. In December, shoppers purchased 150 million items using Target’s drive-up and order pickup offerings. The retail giants also reported that its employees fulfilled 6.5 million items on just one day in December for customers who used those options.
Will Target’s reports of success and its early store-closure announcement mean the permanent end of Thanksgiving Day holiday shopping trips? We don’t know when other retailers will make their announcements, but Black Friday deals and our holiday shopping traditions may be starting a long-term evolution.
If so, it’s just another unexpected way in which the pandemic has changed our world.