Black Friday crowds thinner than in past years amid pandemic

Local

SAN DIEGO – Black Friday usually is one of the busiest days for shopping. But amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the normally long lines outside of big box retailers have shortened considerably in favor of consumers shopping from the comfort of home.

Two shoppers seen inside a Best Buy store in Mira Mesa, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the normally long lines outside of big box retailers have shortened considerably in favor of consumers shopping from the comfort of home.

That didn’t keep some people from showing up Friday at local stores hoping to score a holiday deal.

“Maybe wasn’t as crowded, but there were a lot of people in there,” shopper Nick Rhea said. “Sales are really good.”

Rhea said he’s not typically a Black Friday shopper, but he visited Best Buy in Mira Mesa in search of some video games for his boys. Plenty of others were in the store in search of the perfect holiday gift for friends and family, he said.

Enough people were there for at least one shopper to turn back and try another time.

“I’ll be back,” Nick Serrano said. “It’s a little crowded in there and as of right now, I just don’t like the crowds and I will be back because I need to get some TVs and stuff.”

Black Friday shopping is a long-established tradition for Serrano’s family, he said, adding that they used to camp out for hours outside of stores in anticipation of post-Thanksgiving deals.

“We used to be — not anymore,” he said. “With the whole COVID, we kind of say back and relaxed.”

Madeleine Roberts, who’s never shopped on Black Friday before, said the experience was pleasant. She suggested that maybe coronavirus restrictions should continue for years to come.

“It’s a lot of people, but they all spread out, so it’s really nice,” she said. “I think they should keep the mask next year.”

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