The answer to the title question is NO. Home Depot did NOT cancel their Black Friday 2020 tool deals or savings events.
About a week ago, there were numerous reports about Home Depot changing their Black Friday 2020 promo plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some stories and posts were about Home Depot cancelling Black Friday, resulting in some panicked questions. Other articles more neutrally covered the announcement as Home Depot adapting to challenging times.
I have already started receiving questions asking about Black Friday 2020 deals and promos, even prior to this announcement, and one or two emails asked about how COVID-19 would change things.
NO, Home Depot didn’t cancel Black Friday this year.
For the most part, we still don’t know how COVID-19 will affect the holiday shopping season. The most popular promos typically require sizable quantities of tools or supplies, which are shipped to many hundreds and even thousands of retail store locations. We have seen supply constraints due to the pandemic, and so the holiday and Black Friday 2020 shopping season probably won’t closely follow earlier plans.
The retail industry has shown the ability to swiftly accommodate to challenging circumstances, and although Black Friday promotions won’t be run in the same way as in previous years, there’s no indication that it will be any smaller in scale this year than in previous years.
Social distancing practices have many stores seeking to responsibly manage in-store foot traffic. Home Depot’s promo sections and store layouts won’t be the same or perhaps not even close to what we’ve seen in prior years – they simply cannot be.
Personally, I think that there will be an emphasis on online shopping, more so than in previous years, and hopefully an emphasis on a smooth curbside pickup system.
Among other things, Home Depot’s announcement specifically said:
For the first time ever, our Black Friday prices will be available throughout the holiday season.
For the first time, The Home Depot mobile app users will have exclusive access to view deals in November before they go live online.
Here’s the thing – many Black Friday specials have historically been available starting in early November, in Home Depot’s gift center. Perhaps with these changes more of them will be available for online ordering sooner.
I’d love to see a virtual holiday season gift center that we could “walk around.”
I don’t know how I feel about mobile-only exclusive early access to view deals. I like to browse on my phone, and I might order an item or two from Amazon on occasion, but I do the bulk of my online buying from a laptop or desktop computer.
Say goodbye to one day of frenzied shopping and enjoy Black Friday savings all season long without the stress and crowds.
Here’s the thing…
We typically see traffic spikes on Thanksgiving, as deals go live or are set to go live a few hours later. Our deal posts and roundups are exhausting to put together, but I find them useful and absolutely worthwhile when I’m in a Thanksgiving evening shopping frenzy comparing prices and promos. I always figure that if it’s useful for me, it’s useful for others, and this has seemed to be the case in previous years.
After years of reporting on Black Friday tool deals, I don’t think that Home Depot has much to change. We see special buys and holiday values starting in November anyway, with some further price drops in late November or early December. We’ll see a selection of new deals for Black Friday and online-only specials for Cyber Monday.
In my opinion, Home Depot already has a winning formula – they’ve stuck to a similar trend for the past few years, and it has worked out well for them.
I sometimes visit Home Depot stores over Thanksgiving weekend, but usually most of my Home Depot Black Friday deal purchases are done online. Items that you wouldn’t think would ship well, such as 4-foot levels, are very well packaged.
It doesn’t sound to me that Home Depot is making any big changes to their deals, only how they communicate about these deals and promos to customers.
If the COVID accommodations also means they will be spreading their Doorbuster-style deals across a wider period, that’ll be good, or at least interesting.
I buy a fair number of Home Depot special buys in-store, but hardly ever during Black Friday weekend. I do take advantage of Home Depot’s Doorbuster-type deals, online-only specials, and other promos that won’t last after the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday period, but usually online and not in-store.
If you ask me, I would say that Home Depot will still hold back many Black Friday specials for Thanksgiving weekend, potentially making them online-only specials, maybe with pickup or curbside pickup as an option.
With so many promos and sales events taking place the last week of November, a lot of people pass on deals earlier in the season, with the mindset that if they wait there will surely be better bargains. In some cases, waiting for a better deal does work out well for consumers, depending on the tool or types of tools they’re shopping for.
There are 9 weeks until Thanksgiving, and we won’t have many insights or clarity until that gap closes by quite a bit.
One thing for certain is that Home Depot is NOT cancelling Black Friday 2020. Given the significant rise in consumer spending on tools and home improvement products, there’s the possibility of this being their biggest holiday season yet.