A few masked shoppers showed up at major U.S. retailers such as Macy’s, Walmart and Best Buy. That’s because early online commerce and concerns about the surge in COVID-19 cases dampened enthusiasm for mall trips.
Retailers have reviewed the traditionally busy shopping day that comes the day after Thanksgiving. , instructed us to pay at the register surrounded by plastic barriers.
Best Buy opens at 5 a.m. and employs workers in orange vests as traffic cops. Other stores implemented temperature checks and offered “carry-on” items such as toys, bicycles and kitchen appliances to discourage lingering in the store aisles.
Deloitte & Touche LP partner Bill Park estimates that foot traffic at the Philadelphia suburb King of Prussia mall is down about 20-30% from last year.
“I was surprised by the traffic. It’s a little less, but it’s heavier than I expected,” he said, but shoppers weren’t loading their bags.
Elsewhere, shoppers with empty carts socially distanced and lined up six feet apart before a Walmart in LaGrange, Kentucky opened, but crowds were generally It appeared to be declining. Stores selling popular computer game consoles had the longest queues as gamers tried to buy Sony’s PlayStation 5.
Brothers-in-law Gabriel Rojas, 24, and Juan Cabrera, 24, have been waiting in line since 2 a.m. Friday at a game stop in the Bronx, New York, hoping to get their hands on a PS5. rice field. With about 20 people ahead of them and the retailer only having two in stock, they failed.
“We were disappointed,” Rojas said. “But it’s okay.”
Some people got lucky.
Roger Mustafa, 37, came out of a Manhattan game stop with his PS5 in a plastic bag and a big smile on his face. He needed his $544 and a lot of sleep.
“I’ve been waiting outside GameStop for two days,” said Mustafa, who lives in the Bronx. “I’m going to go home now and get some sleep.”
Asuncion Peralta, 77, a Macy’s New York flagship store, said she wasn’t afraid to shop because she had COVID-19 antibodies.
“I have been waiting for this day for a long time to buy towels, sheets and other things I need,” Peralta said. “These prices are not Black He’s Friday prices. I think she was here two days ago and the deal was better.”
During the pandemic year, retailers from Target to Kohl’s to Walmart rolled out winter holiday online promotions in October to capture holiday spending as quickly as possible.
Luxury department store Nordstrom, which has seen sales drop due to the pandemic, offered a $15 gift card to customers who picked up a package in-store.
Overall, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects U.S. holiday retail sales to grow 3.6% to 5.2% over 2019, totaling $755.3 billion to $766.7 billion. This equates to an average annual growth rate of 2.5% over the last five years.
On November 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered “shopping in crowded stores just before, after, or after Thanksgiving” a high-risk activity.
Seth Shaffer, a 22-year-old covered employee from Lufkin, Texas, said shoppers at his store didn’t seem too concerned about taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“East Texas is not a place where everyone respects mask policies or avoids close contact.”
Adobe Analytics expects Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 to be the two biggest online sales days of all time, with Black Friday online sales ranging from $8.9 billion to $10.6 billion.
Melissa Bross, who works at a bank in Rapid City, South Dakota, said she plans to do all her shopping online this year.
“Most companies have sales throughout the month. If you can get the same deal a week later, there’s no rush,” she said.
(Except for the headline, this article is unedited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)