AUSTIN (KXAN) — Black Friday shopping has drastically changed during the pandemic. Instead of the Thanksgiving Day stampedes at the store, deals started earlier this year.
“Normally after Thanksgiving dinner, my mom and I will immediately leave and go straight to holiday shopping and search for all of the Black Friday sales,” said Hannah MacLaren. “Seeing this place look bleak makes me sad, it just shows how different it is.”
Hannah MacLaren and her mom won’t be participating in Thursday evening shopping festivities this year as most retailers have closed their doors until Friday.
“Typically, Black Friday is a big day for us. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like,” said Dinah Obied.
Dinah Obied owns Scout and Molly’s at the Domain Northside. Black Friday is her bread and butter.
“Never in a million years did I think we would still be in this situation today,” Obied said.
Given the slow trickle of people inside her brick-and- mortar store-front over the last few weeks, Obied doesn’t anticipate breaking even with last year’s sales.
“October, November and December are our busiest times of the year. It’s very disappointing that it hasn’t been that way this year, but I do understand why,” said Obied.
The National Retail Federation estimates that 190 million people shopped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year. That number is expected to be down by 43% this year.
“Online retailers are doing great right now, but for brick- and-mortars like us, I think it’s still been a struggle,” said Obied.
Obied is still keeping her fingers crossed.
“Hopefully people will still be in the holiday mood, and still have that Black Friday feel,” Obied said.