Black Friday shoppers facing more online sales, smaller crowds due to pandemic


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Like just about everything else in 2020, Black Friday shopping is going to be different this year. It already is with many retailers offering specials online earlier than usual.

“I’ve already tried to dabble ordering online a little bit–it’s not the same. It’s going to be different this year for sure,” said Karie Rosshirt.

Rosshirt usually shops in person every year on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday with her friends Tonya O’Neil and Tami Hough. They call themselves the ‘Black Friday Shopping Crew’ and say shopping the night of Thanksgiving is just as much of a tradition as the meal itself.

“Once we’re done with the families, we all head out together,” said Rosshirt.

Instead of sporting their matching shirts out shopping this year, they wore them for a Zoom call. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the group decided against shopping in person on Black Friday this year.

“It’s such a tradition we’re used to that it’s hard to put that aside for a year but it’s just necessary,” said Tonya O’Neil.

The group made the decision several weeks ago.

“I work in the health field so I’m like no we’re not going guys, we’re staying home,” said Tami Hough.

By 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving night 2019, many stores already had lines as several retailers were already open or about to open. Thanksgiving 2020 was a much different story with most parking lots empty because most stores aren’t opening until Friday morning.

In-person shoppers can expect to see similar health and safety restrictions that have been in place. Though crowds might be smaller, stores are still preparing for lines since there could be a limit on the number of customers allowed in at once.

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