Silent night: no Black Friday shoppers in sight

Nov. 26, 2020 KOLD 10 p.m. Newscast - clipped version

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -It’s an energetic, sometimes chaotic, family tradition for many. However, this year, Black Friday is getting a complete overhaul.

Normally, shoppers would be lining up at big box stores around Tucson. Instead, it was a silent night.

At Best Buy on Broadway near Wilmot, barricades were up but no customers were in sight during the late evening hours on Thanksgiving. Employees put out stickers to remind shoppers to keep six feet of distance between their group and others. Signs were also plastered on the doors telling customers they will need to wear a face covering in order to enter.

Last year, it was a different scene. Dozens of people lined up before dawn waiting for the doors to open. Some even brought camping chairs.

The pandemic has certainly impacted the way people spend their time and money. Part of that is due to the strategies used by retailers trying to limit the number of people inside at once. Many offered deals earlier this year and promoted online bargains. Most major stores, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, were closed on Thanksgiving.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) says nearly half of Americans started their holiday shopping earlier than usual. Wallet Hub reports 77% are doing more online shopping this year.

So, what are people buying? According to the NRF, “clothing and accessories” is the most popular gift category with 54% of the people surveyed spending on attire. 49% purchased gift cards. 37% bought toys, 34% bought books and media and 28% bought food and candy.

Credit cards are still the most popular payment method.

While the NRF predicts a 4% bump in overall sales compared last year, online sales are projected to jump about 20% (approximately $200 billion).

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.