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Black Friday always requires thought and preparation by retailers. This year, of course, was vastly different from all those that preceded it. The industry approached the holiday knowing that it would be defined in large part by the pandemic, with public health experts warning of dire surges, which indeed was the case.
With retailers closing for Thanksgiving as well as nudging consumers to buy earlier and online, and use other buying and pickup channels like curbside, store traffic fell deeply. The retailers with strong digital and omnichannel games performed best. Many of those tied to enclosed malls likely suffered declines.
As we move into 2021, expect many of those trends to continue. The strong will get stronger. More weak retailers could fall by the wayside, especially if they fell far short of their holiday wishes. And the pandemic will continue to hold sway for unknown number of months until vaccines are distributed widely.