Is Black Friday 2020 canceled? No, but here's how COVID changes it

Discounts still abound, but you should really just shop online this year.

Tamara Palmer Contributing writer
Tamara Palmer is a DJ, author and publisher of the small-batch print magazine California Eating.
Tamara Palmer
3 min read

Not this year. Please.

Stan Honda/Getty Images

Thanks to COVID-19, this Black Friday won't exactly look like those of previous years, but that doesn't mean that you have to miss out on the deep discounts that normally make it one of the biggest holiday shopping days of the year. Here's what you need to know.

Many stores are closed on Thanksgiving (but open on Black Friday)

A number of stores have bucked the usual holiday tradition and will be closed on Thanksgiving this year. Of course, they'll be "open" online, and most have already started offering deals. This year, online ordering will be your best bet for holiday gift shopping on Black Friday -- select curbside pickup as a backup plan if your items can't be delivered in the time frame that you need. 

If you still insist on having a Black Friday experience inside a store, stop and reevaluate your priorities. Seriously, there's zero reason to go into a crowded store in the middle of a pandemic. And anyone who does venture into a store will be required to wear face masks or coverings (regardless of local ordinances), since nearly all national retailers require that precaution for entry. 

The retailers below are closed on Thanksgiving Day but open Black Friday. (National times are listed, but hours may vary based on local COVID health regulations or other factors.) Per our advice above, we're providing the hours for curbside pickup opportunities; please don't shop in the stores themselves.

All stores are open online, no face mask required

Sensing a pattern here? Shop online, and you'll get access to nearly all the same deals. Stay in your pajamas, browse on your phone, tablet or laptop and keep a mug of your favorite hot beverage nearby -- mask-free, no less. We're constantly curating and updating our lists of best Black Friday sales and deals by retailer:

More Black Friday online deals 

Looking for Black Friday deals by product category? No problem, we've got that covered too:

See CNET's Holiday Gift Guide for more gift ideas

If you're interested in gift ideas at specific price points -- or for specific people in your life -- we've got some suggestions.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.