Retailers are kicking off the holiday season earlier than ever this year in hopes of avoiding big in-store crowds in November and December, creating a potentially dangerous situation during a pandemic. (Oct. 21)
Home Depot will deck its store aisles and website with holiday deals days after the election and ahead of Veterans Day.
The nation’s largest home improvement chain unveiled its Black Friday sales circular Monday on its mobile app in what is seen as a very different holiday shopping season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of a short Black Friday sale that starts after Thanksgiving like in past years, Home Depot’s sale starts Nov. 6 and will continue through Dec. 2 with deals available while supplies last.
Other major retailers including Walmart, Sam’s Club and Lowe’s also have announced sales are starting earlier than in past years and lasting longer to spread out demand and reduce crowds. Target said last week it is bolstering COVID-19 safety measures.
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Atlanta-based Home Depot first announced in September it was reinventing its holiday sale known for drawing early Black Friday shoppers.
“Not wanting to drive that sort of traffic and crowds to our stores, we are extending the holiday period,” Ted Decker, the company’s president and chief operating officer, said in an interview with USA TODAY. “We will still have values, but they will start in early November.”
Like other retailers who are pushing the hottest deals online of the season online, Home Depot’s longer sale will be different as shoppers and employees’ safety is a top priority, officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified “shopping at crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving” on a list of higher-risk activities to avoid and in guidance issued ahead of the fall holidays also suggest more online shopping.
“We’re not doing the big doorbusters but will be open on (Black) Friday and closed Thanksgiving like we always are,” Decker said, adding the company’s biggest gift-giving category is power tools.
Decker said stores will leverage space at the end of aisles for gifts and holiday products and throughout the stores to help promote social distancing. The company added curbside pickup as an option at the start of the pandemic and has seen explosive online sales growth, Decker said.
“We’re really running effectively Black Friday-type traffic every day, more or less since COVID,” he said.
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Home Depot’s Black Friday sale
The retailer’s ad is 18 pages, and the savings run from Nov. 6 through Dec. 2 and are available while supplies last.
Home Depot says mobile app users will have access to view the deals in October before they go live. Once the deals are live shoppers can use the app’s “Product Locator feature to check inventory at your local store and find what you need fast this holiday season.”
Several items are listed in the ad as “online only” including home decor items, which include wine glasses, small appliances, rugs and furniture.
There will be free delivery on all online holiday decor as well as more than 1 million items.
Deals in the ad include free select power tools with purchase and up to 40% off select appliances. Among the top savings:
- Home Accents Holiday 7.5-foot LED Pre-Lit Fenwick Pine Artificial Christmas Tree for $79, was $199.
- Giant LED Pre-Lit Inflatable characters (up to 12-feet tall) for $69, a $179 value.
- Husky 270-Piece Mechanics Tool Set for $99, listed as a “$530 value if purchased separately.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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