ORLANDO, Fla. – Black Friday 2020 will be a year like no other, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic changes the way consumers shop.
The acceleration of COVID-19 cases is causing a crisis for U.S. retailers and haunting their customers as the critical holiday shopping season approaches. Retailers are heavily dependent on online shopping this year as many stay at home.
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However, some people still go to old school and line up to shop.
FOX 35 player Danielle Lama visited Gamestop in Orlando on Thursday at around 5pm and people have already been spotted. The first person in line, Kyle Kazembe, said he had been in line since last night.
“I slept on the concrete last night, which was rough, but now I have a rug,” Kazembe told FOX 35. ” I’m hanging out with these guys … classes are running very fast, “said Kenneth Johnson, who was also in line.”
Gamestop will be a hot station this Black Friday as it will obviously be Sony’s PlayStation 5 in stock. Consumers have struggled with a shortage of consoles, but Sony recently announced that it will make additional stocks available to retailers before the end of the year.
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Contrary to the memory of many Thanksgiving, most large retail stores closed due to the holiday.
“It’s a Christmas season I’ve never seen before,” said Britt Beemer, CEO of the U.S. retail group. He expects about 20 percent fewer shoppers in stores on Black Friday than a year ago. “Sometime in early October, they started giving out Black Friday specials, and over the past weekend they have been doing so now.”
Many stores offer big sales for extended periods of time with a focus on online shopping. For those planning potential crowds on Friday, stores like Walmart are said to limit the number of shoppers and promote social distance.
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At Gamestop, dedicated customers say they feel it will be a safe experience.
“I think Gamestop did a pretty good job with the restrictions,” Kazembe said.
With a few hours in mind:
- The old navy opens at midnight.
- Walmart opens at 5 p.m.
- Target opens at 7:00 in the morning
Tune in to Orlando FOX 35 for the latest news in Central Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.