Black Friday takes on a new look amid pandemic; shoppers note smaller crowds

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Black Friday shopping looked a bit different this year, as many retailers adjusted their plans to avoid large crowds. Instead of long lines and early crowds, there was a slower stream of holiday shoppers.

Due to health and safety protocols, stores like The Arsenal at City National Arena only let a certain number of shoppers in at a time.

“You’ve gotta keep your distance, but at the same time, it kind of makes you excited for the future when we get back to games and look at things that we took for granted and kind of appreciate it more,” said Black Friday shopper Braxton Egbert.

To keep everyone in the holiday spirit, The Arsenal brought in live music and games for those that shopped in person.

“We just came out to look for anything and everything, nothing in particular,” shared shopper Kirsten Brannum. “And why not? I’m not going to live a scared life.”

“It’s way better, I think, with the social distancing part of it, so people aren’t right behind you,” said shopper Michael Thornton.

Instead of door buster deals, many big box stores promoted online deals and offered curbside pickup. Some shoppers told 8 News Now social distancing protocols weren’t necessary since there were so few people inside.

“It’s probably been the weirdest Black Friday shopping ever,” said shopper Isaiah Johnson. “Usually, these lines are out the door, around the corner. Today, we walked right in and didn’t have to do anything.”

He also notes it was calmer than in years past.

“Normally, we all start around 4 or 5 in the morning,” said Johnson. “We got up at 8, went to McDonald’s, got cinnamon rolls and everything like that. Here at 10 with ease.”

Due to the financial hardships of COVID-19, the Nevada Retail Association projects sales at brick-and-mortar locations will go down between 3-8% from last year. However, analysts expect online sales will help fill in that gap.

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