The 2020 edition of Black Friday did not offer the usual scenes of bustling stores and shoppers lined up outside discount chains and electronics retailers. Instead, most people bought online, if they bought at all.
Crowds at malls and city shopping districts were relatively sparse over the holiday weekend in the face of rising coronavirus cases and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid large groups. Major chains closed on Thanksgiving, after years of being open that day. And many Americans did their shopping before the weekend even began, drawn by sales that began in October.