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Even in pandemic, Black Friday brings shoppers to local stores

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 5:31 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Friday was “Black Friday” with a difference-the difference being shoppers heading to stores, hoping all they brought back was their purchases.

Even though there were long lines outside of stores nationwide, there was a different look to the day after Thanksgiving. Stores were not open quite as early, and if lines were longer, it was because of social distancing.

But some things don’t change, even though some store chains began holiday sales as early as mid-October, local merchants tell us there is still an importance to Black Friday.

“Our biggest day would be Black Friday, but we maybe would spread it out more than other stores would,” says David Boone, owner of Hornor and Harrison in Parkersburg. “This is an important time of year for us, and if we don’t sell it now, then, it’s awful hard to sell it after Christmas.”

Stores like Baker and Baker Jewelers in Marietta had to rely on online sales to get them through the shutdowns of the spring. They depend on two kinds of customers to stay in business: their long-time, loyal shoppers and newcomers.

“We are ingrained in the community for 101 years,” says store owner Larry Hall. “We have a lot of old friends coming by, and we have our fingers crossed just like every other merchant. We’re excited, but we’re also cautiously optimistic.”

It appears online shopping, combined with the coronavirus upsurge, combined to keep Black Friday crowds down nationwide.

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