Black Friday Shopping Amidst the Pandemic


Hannah Klimek, Chloe Willochell, and Daisy Wishard safely partook in Black Friday shopping this year. While shopping on Black Friday with friends is an exciting and fun activity, this year felt and looked a little different.

People piled on top of each other in line, cars piled in parking lots, empty shelves lining the stores, and the typical fights between shoppers are just some of the very normal sights to see during any Black Friday. On the busiest day of the year shopping wise, you are bound to see almost everyone you know bouncing from store to store searching for  the best deals on early Christmas presents. However, what happens when a global pandemic is thrown into the mix? Surely, Black Friday is going to look different this year and in the years to come indefinitely.

Without the fear of the coronavirus, shoppers were not having to take any sort of precaution at all. However, this year it is certain that there will be plenty of precautions in place that will be mandated for everyone to follow.  

Masks obviously must be worn at all times when inside of the store or building. Social distancing measures will be followed the best that they can be, without shoppers piling on top of each other in line. Most stores have something called a max capacity. This max capacity prohibits customers from just walking in and shopping when the store is already full of people. Sure, other precautions will be taken, but these are just the main changes that take away that exciting feel of going Black Friday shopping. In fact, with these changes, some wonder if it’s even worth going out and shopping. Here’s what a few students in particular at GLSHS plan to do on that day. 

Seniors, Julia Battaglia and Saige Roth are usual partakers in Black Friday shopping. However when asked if they’d be participating this year both were uncertain. Battaglia said, “I am going to try and go out to shop in person. It will be different this year, but I feel that all stores will be taking the necessary precautions.” Alongside Battaglia is Saige Roth, another in person shopper. Roth said, “I’m planning on going hopping in person, but I’m unsure if we’ll be able to. It’s a tradition that my family and friends have been doing for the past few years, and I would like to continue the tradition as safely as possible.”  With the intention of going shopping, the two girls can’t help but think of the risk they may be taking, and wonder if they should shop online instead.

Battaglia admits. “I am a little nervous, however, I think that all stores and fellow customers are taking this seriously as well. I think that everyone just wants to be as safe as possible.” Roth agrees saying, “I am nervous about the outcome, but hopefully with most stores spreading Black Friday deals out over a few days, cases won’t spike.” Fortunately, stores have thought of ways to address these customer fears by putting plans into place to hopefully minimize the risks associated with being in public amidst the pandemic. 

Instead of having Black Friday deals for just a day, many stores are having deals throughout the week. This way, customers can come when they feel comfortable and can avoid the big waves of people all coming in at once. Battaglia said, “That is a huge relief. I feel much more comfortable knowing that I don’t have to go shopping when everyone else does, but the deals will still be there.” Roth also adds, “I love that most stores are partaking in this new method. This way, I don’t feel pressured to go shopping at a certain time just to avoid big crowds of shoppers.”

Although people would like to follow their shopping traditions that they partake in every year, it is clear that this year will be different for many, regardless if they plan to go shopping or not. Hopefully this is a temporary situation and things can get back to normal in the near future.