AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Black Friday is looming but it’s a lot different this year. Some stores that open early for the retail holiday on Thanksgiving are closed tonight due to COVID-19 concerns.
Retail analysts are predicting in-store shopping to drop by 25 percent this Black Friday compared to last year.
Kenya Thompson said, “Online seems to be a little more convenient and not having to be around too many people.”
A survey by ‘Shopper Traks’ shows six out of ten Americans are concerned about shopping in person this holiday season.
Yasmine Bellinger said,”Little bit of online and in-store. Me and the youngest are going to stay inside and then daddy and the toddlers are going to go out and run around. Get their energy out stuff like that. We’re just trying to stay inside still because the numbers have gone back up.”
Over the years Black Friday has become more of an online event as data from the National Retail Federation shows that more Americans shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend than in physical stores last year and there wasn’t a pandemic going on.
Kenya Thompson said, “Walmart has it where you have the rush because as soon as you click on it it’s sold out so you still get the rush.”
Some financial advisors say small businesses may have the upper hand this Black Friday because most don’t offer doorbuster sales that draw in big crowds.
“It could be a great differentiator for small businesses looking to attract local shoppers who don’t want to put up with larger crowds,” said financial advisor Celine Pastore.
Online black Friday sales numbers have gone up every year since 2016. Retail experts predict more than 11 billion dollars will be spent on Black Friday 2020.
“There are still a lot of people out there who want to engage in all the wonderful holiday traditions to them shopping after Thanksgiving is a very big deal. It’s a social event and they’re going to want to do it and they’ll be able to do it,” said Company Spokesman Joe Bell.
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