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Walmart Black Friday: Stores limited to 20% capacity for 3-day event

  • Walmart said Wednesday it would stagger the launch of in-store Black Friday sales across three days in November to avoid crowds.
  • It will also limit store capacity to just 20% during its Black Friday sales, Bloomberg reported.
  • The first Black Friday event will focus on toys, electronics, and home products.
  • The retailer will launch discounts online first, and then bring them to stores at least two days later, it said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Walmart will split its Black Friday in-store sales over three days in November to avoid overcrowding, it said Wednesday.

It will also limit the number of Black Friday shoppers to just 20% of store capacity, Bloomberg reported.

The retailer said it would launch in-store sales events on November 7, 14, and 27, when stores will open at 5 a.m..

To avoid shoppers rushing to stores, Walmart is launching each set of discounts online at least two days early, it said in a press release.

It is also offering contact-free curbside pickup for online Black Friday orders.

The first Black Friday sale, starting online on November 4 and in stores on November 7, will focus on toys, electronics, and home products.

The second event will be for TVs, smartphones, and tablets. It will launch online on November 11, and in stores on November 14. 

The third event will offer discounts on a range of goods, from apparel to electronics. It will begin online on November 25, and in stores on November 27.

Walmart said it would separately hold its biggest phone sale event in-store and online on November 14, with deals on iPhones and Samsung phones.

Other deals available over the Black Friday period include an 42-inch UHD Roku TV for $88.

Read more: Retailers are struggling to attract seasonal workers for what experts anticipate will be a ‘tough holiday season’

On the Black Friday in-store event days, customers will have to form a line to enter the store. Staff will sanitize shopping carts and remind customers to wear masks, it said.

Spreading out in-store deals and making them available online earlier should make stores “safer and more manageable for both our customers and our associates,” Scott McCall, executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer at Walmart, said.

Walmart will also hold its annual Black Friday discount tire event both in-store and online between November 7 and 13, it said. 

Walmart announced in July it would keep all its stores closed on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since the 1980s. The day typically draws huge crowds to Walmart’s stores, with some Black Friday deals launching on that day.

Nearly two in five Americans plan to reduce their budget for Black Friday shopping this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by market research firm Piplsay.

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Utah COVID Cases Rise, University Hospital ICU at 95 Percent Capacity

The intensive care unit at the University of Utah Health hospital has reached 95 percent capacity, according to Dr. Emily Spivak, associate professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases at the university.



Employees at Spectrum Solutions assembling COVID-19 saliva test kits on September 21 in Draper, Utah. The intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of Utah Health hospital was reported to have reached 95 percent on Thursday, while average daily new cases across the state were on an upward trend in the past two weeks.


© George Frey/Getty Images
Employees at Spectrum Solutions assembling COVID-19 saliva test kits on September 21 in Draper, Utah. The intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of Utah Health hospital was reported to have reached 95 percent on Thursday, while average daily new cases across the state were on an upward trend in the past two weeks.

The hospital provides care for residents in Utah as well as “residents of five surrounding states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental U.S.,” according to its LinkedIn profile.

Speaking at the state’s weekly press conference on Thursday, Dr. Spivak said: “Our hospital is getting full. Our ICU is getting full. It was 95 percent full this morning.”

“As a physician, as a mother and a concerned citizen, I plead with you, wear a mask at all times out of your home.”

The chief executive officer at the University of Utah Health, Dr. Michael Good, said at a Tuesday briefing: “We began in early September seeing this dramatic increase in the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day.

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“Hospital trends across the state, and here at University Hospital, [are] showing increasing hospitalization for coronavirus.

“The increase in the number of deaths is just now starting to turn up…unfortunately, the hospitalization, as measured by the number of people in the hospital, continues to increase.

“Fortunately, we’ve seen a little bit of a leveling off in those that are in the ICU. So, there still is this general trend upward, but with a suggestion of some leveling off in the ICU.”

When questioned at the Thursday briefing about whether more restrictions will be implemented in the state, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert told residents to “wait and see.” Herbert is expected to meet with the state’s COVID-19 Unified Command force and legislative leaders next week to discuss which restrictions are working and which are not.

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Confirmed cases in Utah are approaching nearly 82,000, with 501 reported deaths, as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Average daily new cases in the states were on an upward trend in the latest two-week period from September 25 to October 8. The average count began rising sharply from early September, after declining from mid-July and flattening out from early August, according to data compiled by JHU.

Infections were reported to have spread from the state’s younger population to the older residents, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

Across the state, 73 percent of all ICU hospital beds are occupied, compared to 54.5 percent of all non-ICU beds, according to the latest figures published on the Utah Department of Health