ORLANDO, FL. – Black Friday 2020 will be a year like no other, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic changes the way consumers shop.
The acceleration of COVID-19 cases is causing a crisis for American retailers and attracting their customers just as the critical holiday shopping season approaches. Retailers will be heavily dependent on online shopping this year as many stay at home.
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However, some people still go to the old school and line up for deals in the shops.
Daniel Lama of FOX 35 visited Gamestop in Orlando around 5pm on Thursday and noticed people already in line. Kyle Kazembe, the first in line, said he had been in line since last night.
“I slept on the concrete last night, which was rough, but now I have a bed,”
Gamestop will be a hot stop this Black Friday, as it could obviously have Sony’s PlayStation 5 in stock. Consumers have tackled the shortage of consoles, but Sony recently announced that it will release more inventory for retailers before the end of the year.
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Unlike many Thanksgiving in recent memory, most large retail stores are closed for the holiday.
“This is a Christmas season I’ve never seen before,” said Brit Bemmer, CEO of America’s Retail Group. He expects about 20 percent fewer shoppers in Black Friday stores than a year ago. “They started making special offers for Black Friday sometime in early October and are doing so now for the last seven weekends.”
Many stores offer large sales over a longer period of time, with a focus on online shopping. For those planning to attract potential crowds on Friday, stores like Walmart say they will limit the number of customers inside and encourage social distancing.
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At Gamestop, loyal shoppers say they feel like a safe experience.
“I think Gamestop is doing pretty well in terms of restrictions,” Kazembe said.
A few hours to keep in mind:
- Old Navy will open at midnight.
- Walmart opens at 5:00 in the morning
- The target opens at 7:00 in the morning
Join the FOX 35 Orlando for the latest news from Central Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.