The retail industry's leading trade group has a message to consumers ahead of the 2020 holiday season, which will be unlike any other: get your shopping done early in order to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Retail Federation announced Tuesday the debut of its new ad campaign, "Shop safe, shop early."
"In a year that has been full of uncertainty, we encourage consumers to avoid the last-minute stresses of the holiday season like long lines and shipping delays," NRF President and CEO Matt Shay said in a statement. "Retailers are ready with inventory and sales, and there's no reason to wait until Thanksgiving weekend to kick off your gift shopping."
NRF has advertisements slated to run online on social media, on the radio and on TV from October through mid-November, it said.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added shopping at crowded stores before, on or after Thanksgiving to its list of higher-risk activities. The CDC also noted that shopping online rather than in person on Black Friday or the days that follow are lower risk.
Retailers from Amazon to Target are nudging consumers to start shopping earlier than ever to avoid overcrowding in stores, and to hopefully avert a last-minute surge in online purchases that leads to shipping chaos. Companies including Walmart and Best Buy are kicking off deals next month. Amazon has also confirmed it will have its Prime Day deals, which in the past have taken place in July, kick off at midnight PT on Oct. 13 and continue through Oct. 14. Target also will have a deal event on those two days.