Home Depot changes Black Friday shopping, offers 2 months of deals

Home Depot is joining a slate of retailers in "reinventing" Black Friday this year in an effort to prevent large crowds from gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than have a single day of deals, the home improvement retailer announced Wednesday it will offer sales throughout the holiday season.

Although stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, both in-store and online sales will begin in early November and last through December, according to an announcement on the company's website.

With new cases of the virus rising in some areas of the country, retailers are increasingly trying to find ways to prevent crowds from gathering during the holiday rush.

"Starting with reinventing Black Friday, we’re improving the shopping experience, with your safety and wellbeing as our priority," the company wrote on its website. "Say goodbye to one day of frenzied shopping and enjoy Black Friday savings all season long without the stress and crowds."

Among the changes, the company is also offering free shipping on more than 1 million items, which it hopes will give customers more flexibility with in-store pickup or home delivery options.

Additionally, for the first time the company's mobile app will give users "exclusive access" to see the deals in November before they go live online.

Earlier this summer, big-box retailer Target also announced it would be extending its holiday shopping season to deter large crowds.

In July, the company said it will feature its "lowest prices of the year" both online and in store beginning in October throughout the holiday season in an effort to offer "flexibility" for shoppers normally faced with a smaller window to attain those big savings.

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