The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we lead our daily lives – and shopping is no different.
This year, many stores have posted offers in the lead-up to the traditional Black Friday one-day shopping event in hopes of doing more business and handling crowds.
The post-Thanksgiving day frenzy that many experienced before the pandemic may not return as shoppers once knew it, as discounts are now spread out over a longer period and the rise in the cyber monday eats up on personal demand .
Columbia Mall manager Rusty Strodtman said total sales there this year were 15% higher than 2019. He expects similar vacation sales.
“We think the trend will continue as long as the stores have the goods and the people who sell them,” he said.
However, unlike previous years when the mall would have opened at 7 a.m. or earlier on Black Friday, the mall won’t open its doors to shoppers until 9 a.m. on Friday as he believes there aren’t that many people making their way to Mall, he said.
“The demand is just not there,” he said.
The mall will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Bill Henderson, manager ofSunglasses hutat the mall last week said the store would start again earlier this year with Black Friday sales. Full-price sunglasses are discounted, with clearance items receiving an additional discount, he said.
The customers surveyed in the mall have different plans when it comes to Black Friday. About half tend to go shopping and the other half plan to stay home.
“I’ve worked in retail for years,” said Janet Adams. “Now that I’m retired, I’d rather avoid the crowds, but there are a few places I can visit. But nothing early in the morning.”
Jaclyn Korte was also unsure and said that more of her family will be together on vacation than in previous years.
“We could go into a couple of stores,” she said. She looked in her children for ideas on where to go. The ideas included Target, Kohl’s, and Bass Pro Shops.
Laura Whitacre said she’ll likely stay at home but consider what deals would be available as stores start selling weeks before normal sales.
“I’m not really into crowds, whether it’s before COVID or now,” she said.
target has been offering Christmas offers in its stores since October for customers who want to start shopping for gifts early, the store wrote in a press release.
“We’re making it easier than ever for guests to shop on their terms,” wrote Christina Hennington, Executive Vice President.
Walmart made changes to its Black Friday sales and operations this year, extending delivery times and adding items to the list that can be delivered to customers, spokesman Charles Crowson wrote in an email to the Tribune.
“Walmart is making it even easier and more convenient for customers to do their Christmas shopping with more gifts than ever before with pickup and delivery,” wrote Crowson.
Barnes & Noble hosts its annual event with signed books and other offers.
“Our signed Black Friday editions are a popular Christmas tradition here at Barnes & Noble, and we are delighted with the fantastic selection we have to offer book lovers this year,” Chief Merchandising Officer Jackie De Leo wrote in a press release.
The store offers discounts Friday through Monday in person and online from Thanksgiving.