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Hello. The holiday season has arrived. And we take a look at how Black Friday is different this year.
It’s Black Friday, the typical start of the holiday shopping season. But like so many other things, this year’s version won’t look like it usually is.
Black Friday has always been about in-person shopping. “Touching stuff, looking for family, the whole experience – it’s literally all the things we tell people to avoid,” Sapna Maheshwari, who covers retail for The Times, told me.
Some Americans will still come out today. Many have already gone to malls last weekend to beat potential holiday crowds, according to the Wall Street Journal. But others are taking advice from public health experts and shifting their shopping online even further.
And retailers are adapting. Macy’s, for example, has turned at least two of its locations – in Delaware and Colorado – into fulfillment centers, where employees process orders to ensure faster delivery and where customers can pick up their purchases online. In Ohio, Amazon opened an order fulfillment center earlier this month and the company kicked off a hiring surge this year, bringing its global workforce to over 1.2 million people. .
The big question is how many of the buying habits linked to the pandemic will last. Some of them likely will, according to retail analysts. “A lot of people have learned to shop online this year, just like they have learned to Zoom and FaceTime with their families,” says Sapna.
But it’s also important not to overdo the trend. Shopping in person is always a pleasant experience. Many people will miss it this weekend – and will happily come back to it once a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available.
For more: The Times today covers Black Friday in the United States.
A 5-4 Supreme Court ruling this week that rejected New York’s coronavirus restrictions on church services revealed new dividing lines in the court. Judge Amy Coney Barrett voted decisively – and it was almost certainly a taste of things to come.
An Algerian couple who survived the capsizing of a boat en route from Libya to Europe last month will be reunited with their alliances, which rescuers found in a backpack floating in the Mediterranean.
Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Parade in New York City was limited to one block, just a snippet of her traditional 2.5-mile route. There was no high school fanfare and around 130 balloon handlers instead of the usual 2,000.
Archaeologists have found a grave and more than 12,000 artifacts, including an ink bottle, doll fragments and coins, at the site of a historic black church in Colonial Williamsburg.
Modern love: A daughter finds a connection to her lost father in chicken nuggets.
From the review: If you missed out on cuddling loved ones on Thanksgiving, this short documentary on family, music, and America can help.
Lives lived: James Wolfensohn escaped a financially pinched Australian childhood to become a leading Wall Street negotiator and president of the World Bank for two terms. And in 1956, he closed at the Olympics. He died at the age of 86.
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Many people will be stuck at home for much of the next few months. So we asked Christine Cyr Clisset, editor at Wirecutter, for suggestions for holiday gifts that will make these months more tolerable. Here is his advice:
Low cost options. A cell phone charger or touchscreen gloves can cost less than $ 30 and can help you be outdoors. An apron or a pepper mill can spruce up your kitchen, and a smart light bulb can enhance the ambiance of a room.
Connect with others. The Google Nest Hub Max and the Alexa Echo Show 8 give young children or those less tech-savvy intuitive ways to have virtual conversations. A Wirecutter editor uses the Nest Hub Max to bake bread with his uncle.
Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was normally. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.