It’s been an incredibly strange and brutal year, but somehow, it’s nearly November, and the busy holiday shopping season is now upon us. In the United States, Black Friday is known as the best time of year to save money on big-ticket items, to cross all those names off your shopping list and splurge for yourself a little (or a lot) too. But with COVID-19 still a very real threat in the US, Black Friday 2020 is going to look much different from previous years.
Fortunately, Black Friday has been developing a strong online presence for years now. With companies like Amazon proving that huge online sales like Prime Day can be a major success, retailers have slowly been offering more noteworthy Black Friday deals online over the years, and this year will be no exception. In fact, with retailers looking to avoid mass crowds that normally push into stores on Black Friday, there’s even greater incentive to make sure the best deals are also available online–and earlier.
So what has been confirmed so far regarding retailers’ plans for Black Friday 2020? Here’s what we know right now about Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping this year.
Many stores are closing on Thanksgiving Day
Walmart led the charge in announcing all Walmart and Sam’s Club locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), breaking a decade-long tradition in which Black Friday offers would be available in-store as early as Thanksgiving evening. Soon after, Target, Best Buy, and GameStop announced they would be closing their doors on Thanksgiving as well.
While certainly the best decision to allow employees more time with their families and to avoid huge crowds in stores on Thanksgiving, this is a major change to the typical rhythm of Black Friday, as we’re used to seeing some of the best doorbuster deals kick off on Thanksgiving Day. As a result, we expect to see some great online-only doorbusters this Thanksgiving and an overall shift in the deals schedule.
You can check out more of the major retailers who have confirmed they’re closing their doors on Thanksgiving this year below. Of course, some stores traditionally close on Thanksgiving Day every year, such as Apple and Costco, and it’s likely they’ll remain closed this year as well.
Confirmed store closings for Thanksgiving Day 2020
- Walmart / Sam’s Club
- Best Buy
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- TJ Maxx
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Office Depot
Black Friday deals are going to start earlier this year
To avoid the massive rush of people visiting stores in mid to late November, Black Friday-level deals will start rolling out much earlier this year to space out the promotions. Target has confirmed its first Black Friday deals will start November 1, with “Black Friday pricing” available throughout the entire month. Meanwhile, Best Buy released its first batch of Black Friday deals during Amazon Prime Day, and the store is still offering Black Friday prices online now. GameStop and Walmart have both pledged to offer deals earlier than usual as well. And with Prime Day in the rearview mirror, Amazon has already moved on with its “Holiday Dash” sale, which is offering steep discounts in the leadup to Black Friday weekend.
Though it may seem strange, this is a natural progression of the way Black Friday has been unfolding in recent years. Black Friday ads usually start to leak in late October, and some retailers have designated the entire month of November as a major deals period in the past. Gone are the days when Black Friday stuck to a single week–the frenzy has been expanding for several years now, so it’s no huge surprise that those promotions are kicking off in October or early November at some stores as part of an overall holiday push.
That said, it’s safe to assume many Black Friday offers will still center around the week of Thanksgiving, with the bulk of the deals kicking off between November 22 and November 30. This year, however, you won’t have to push through any crowds to get the best offers, as retailers will likely avoid in-store exclusives.
Black Friday 2020 retailer ads
Retailers have started to release their Black Friday 2020 ads, and the first wave of Black Friday deals will begin the first week of November. Plus, most stores have early deals available right now.
- Walmart Black Friday 2020 ad: Walmart has not just one, but multiple Black Friday ads this year, as it plans to release Black Friday deals in multiple batches. The first round of online deals goes live on November 4, with in-store deals starting November 7.
- Best Buy Black Friday 2020 ad: Best Buy’s Black Friday ad features the best gaming deals we’ve seen so far this year, with discounts on new game releases, online memberships, and more. An early Black Friday sale is live October 29 through November 1.
- Target Black Friday 2020 ad: Target released part of its Black Friday ad, revealing its first batch of deals on Apple products, smart devices, and more.
- Newegg Black Friday 2020 sale: Newegg’s month-long Black Friday sale kicks off November 1, with a PC gaming-specific sale planned for November 4-8.
- Dell Black Friday 2020 ad: Dell released its Black Friday ad and kicked off its sale on the same day, offering a great chance to save big on laptops and gaming PCs right now.
- Costco Black Friday 2020 ad: If you’re a Costco member (or know somebody who is), you can shop Costco’s Black Friday sale starting November 5.
Best Black Friday deals available now
In the leadup to Black Friday 2020, we’re tracking the best early deals as they go live at various retailers. Here’s an updated list of some of the best early Black Friday 2020 deals available now.
At Best Buy:
Best Black Friday gaming deals (upcoming)
This is a unique year in many ways, including the fact that next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and PS5, are launching this November. While there won’t be any straight-up discounts on these consoles during Black Friday, you may have a chance at buying them during the sale, as at least one retailer, Best Buy, has confirmed it will restock the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S during Black Friday. No start dates or times have been shared for this restock yet.
Now that retailers are starting to drop their Black Friday 2020 ads, here are some of the best upcoming gaming deals we know about so far. Right now, the best deals are coming from Best Buy’s Black Friday ad, which does not offer any start dates or times. When that info is available, we’ll include it here.
Best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals
Best PS4 and PS5 Black Friday deals
Best Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S Black Friday deals
Best PC gaming deals
Of course, we’ll be covering all the best Black Friday 2020 deals on games, accessories, consoles, and more here at GameSpot, so keep checking back as we update this story with more information. Be sure to follow GameSpot Deals on Twitter for the hottest discounts, including lightning deals that will sell out fast during Prime Day and Black Friday, and sign up for our deals newsletter to keep up with the latest sales below. Plus, check out more of the best Black Friday tech deals, business deals, and fashion and beauty deals.
Sonos One Wi-Fi speakers are $40 off today – The Verge
Sonos ran an all-too-short one-day sale on its Wi-Fi speakers last week for Black Friday. The good news is that they’re discounted once again at Best Buy and Amazon, though the price cuts aren’t as steep. Both the Sonos One SL without microphones and the Sonos One (Gen 2) are $40 off at either retailer. This puts the One SL at $140 and the One (Gen 2) at $160. Neither are best-ever prices, but given that they’re within $10 of their lowest costs, we thought you’d like to know about these deals.
If HBO Max caught your attention yesterday with the news that all Warner Bros. films released through 2021 will debut day-and-date on the streaming platform, you understandably might want a subscription for yourself or to gift to someone else. For new and returning subscribers, you can save 20 percent by prepaying for a six-month subscription to the service. Instead of $90, it’ll cost you $70. Just note that this is non-refundable.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the latest installment that crams essentially four games into one package, has received a $10 price cut across all platforms at Walmart. The PS4 or Xbox One version of the game now costs $50 instead of $60. If you’re already gaming on the PS5 or Xbox Series X / S consoles, you’ll spend $60 (PS5, Xbox Series X / S) instead of $70.
It’s worth keeping in mind that if you get the PS4 / Xbox One version, there’s a $10 fee associated with getting the next-gen patch for either the PS5 or Xbox Series X / S. So if you just don’t want to fuss with that, get the pricier next-gen version instead.
What you need to know about COVID-19 antibody tests – Toronto Star
A COVID-19 antibody test is now generally available to Ontario residents, with a doctor’s requisition. The medical laboratory chain Life Labs began offering the Health Canada approved serology test on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Currently available in British Columbia and Ontario, the test costs $75.
However, internal medical expert Dr. Gerald Evans advises that the results of a COVID-19 antibody tests are not always straightforward. He said he can’t think of many clinical circumstances when a doctor would request this information.
“Really it has very little utility in the general practice of medicine,” he said. “Right now the only use that we have for an antibody test, based on the guidelines that are issued, is to use it to investigate children who present with a multi inflammatory syndrome (IMSC)…. That’s really the only clinical utility we have for it,” he said.
He also explained that not everybody who gets COVID-19 exhibits the exact same antibody response, which makes the virus different from others such as measles or chickenpox.
“Most people get something, but some people are what we call ‘low-level responders,’ meaning the levels of antibodies that they get could be below a detection level that we’re looking for.”
“So if you wanted to do this test because you’re saying ‘I recall being ill and I think it was COVID,’ you do an antibody test. If it’s negative, it doesn’t really say that you didn’t have a COVID-19 infection. It may mean that you were one of these people that had a very mild infection and didn’t get a big antibody response.”
He also explained that humans make three different types of antibodies in response to a virus — IgG, IgA, IgM.
“IgM antibodies disappear very quickly. If you’re more than a couple of months out from your infection, you won’t find them. IgA antibodies are super tricky because they go up and down, they disappear, and some people don’t make them at all.”
The IgG antibody, which he said believes the Life Labs antibody tests are based on, is much more stable.
Life Labs CEO Charles Brown called antibody testing “another piece of the puzzle to better understand COVID-19.”
The company also explains on their website that a negative result might mean a person has been infected, but that antibody levels were too low for the test to detect. They note that you might receive a negative result, even after being infected, if not enough time has lapsed since the infection, to allow for antibodies to develop.
“Antibody response varies from person-to-person and can take up to three to four weeks post-onset of symptoms or post-exposure to be reliably detectable by antibody assays,” the company said.
Both Dr. Evans and Life Labs note that the test cannot be used to determine a current infection.
“It doesn’t really help in the diagnosis of COVID-19. Antibodies are made after you’re infected or when you’re in that recovery phase,” Dr. Evans said.
Dr. Evans said that typically, the IgG antibodies for the measles can be detected by a test in anyone that has ever had, or been inoculated against, the virus, even years later. They also indicate immunity. In the case of COVID-19, he said, it’s not the same thing.
“We still don’t quite have the exact test that tells us that those antibodies we’re measuring are at a high enough level or are responsible for neutralizing the virus, which would then predict that you’re immune,” he said.
“We’ve found people that even have these antibodies, they may not be in sufficient quantity. Or, it may not be the right antibody that actually protects them and gives them immunity. That’s the big problem.
“You could imagine somebody saying: ‘I’m going to get the test done to show that I’m immune,’ and that’s not really what it’s telling you.”
Life Labs website states that a positive test result does not infer immunity. They recommend getting the blood test three to four weeks after the onset of symptoms, adding that it’s possible to detect antibodies up to four months post-exposure.
“We look forward, to continue building our support for the healthcare system’s response to the pandemic, where Canadians have access to more important COVID-19 information to help them make informed decisions about their health,” Brown said.
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