Black Friday 2020 Live Update: A later Black Friday boost; hot holiday gifts: Legos and chess sets – CNBC

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One thing we can count on: Black Friday won't look like it has in prior years.

With coronavirus cases surging, retailers are encouraging consumers to shop online. They've offered deep discounts in the days leading up to the traditional event, which in past years was considered the start of the holiday shopping season.

This year, shopping began earlier as retailer began Black Friday-style deals in October. But some shoppers are sure to turn out to hold to their traditions of bargain hunting after Thanksgiving. Industry analysts said Friday's crowd included many younger shoppers in their 20s.

The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales this year to rise between 3.6% and 5.2% from last year. Even if sales hit the low end of that range, the result will be better than the average of 3.5% over the past five holiday shopping seasons.

Retailers are counting on consumers to splurge after a tough year. But unemployment remains high, so money will be tight for some families, and that could threaten results.

An encouraging sign came from Adobe, which reported record online sales on Thanksgiving Day.

Where consumers choose to spend their money will also be interesting to watch. In recent months, shoppers have focused on buying items for their homes and investing in comfortable apparel.

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Black Friday 2020 Live Update: A later Black Friday boost; hot holiday gifts: Legos and chess sets - CNBC

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