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Black Friday shoppers opt to go online, curbside route in 2020

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 5:45 PM PST
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RENO SPARKS, VERDI, Nev. (KOLO) - A day shoppers look forward to all year: Black Friday - sales galore, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. People woke up at crazy hours to do whatever it took to get their hands on the year’s most popular items.

“I figured I’d hang out here with my brother and stay here all night,” Darrell McNabb said.

McNabb was not the only person who waited five hours in line at Best Buy off Virginia St. in Reno for the new Playstation 5 video game console. But he did not have a ton of company. COVID-19 made its presence felt once again this year.

“I’m kind of shocked,” Devanick Basu said. “Every year I come (to Best Buy) and there is a line to Barnes & Noble so that’s why I was surprised that no one is here.”

Some shoppers opted to spend their money online, and do curbside pickup instead.

“I just wanted to skip the line,” a shopper named Presley said as he waited to pick up his new XBOX.

His friend, Dishu, echoed a similar sentiment.

“I just wanted to work smarter, not harder,” he said of avoiding the lines.

Cabela’s in Verdi opened its doors at 5 am. The outdoor merchandiser also experienced an unusual Black Friday.

“We’ve actually seen a smaller amount of traffic earlier in the day,” Mike Aiazzi said, the store’s assistant general manager. “(Foot traffic) is starting to pick up more now, but the early morning traffic was not there.”

This was Aiazzi’s 14th Black Friday at Cabela’s. The retail giant spaced its sales out throughout the week and put the same deals online that customers usually find in stores to offer a safer shopping option.

“We’re seeing a lot more of the curbside pickup in the store,” Aiazzi said. “We’ve always had a good online presence.”

In Sparks, the Outlets at Legends was packed.

Scheels made some adjustments by changing traffic flow. Employees put markers on the floor to space people out while they waited for an available cashier.

Stores like Bath & Body Works, Oakley, and Nike had shoppers wait outside to abide by Governor Steve Sisolak’s limited capacity directive.

Masks were required at all stores.

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