- Stores were noticeably empty this Black Friday, as coronavirus cases continue to spike nationwide.
- The flagship Macy’s location New York City — typically one of the busiest stores on Black Friday — didn’t see the familiar crowds of shoppers and tourists.
- Many large retailers like Target and Walmart extended Black Friday sales across multiple days or weeks, and shorten store hours to discourage large crowds.
- The US recorded the highest single-day death toll from COVID-19 on the eve of Thanksgiving.
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The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the typical
shopping crowds this year.
Photos at stores like Target, Walmart, and Macy’s across the country show few crowds on Black Friday, typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Lines outside stores appeared shorter than in recent years, with shoppers wearing masks and social distancing prior to going inside.
Americans may be avoiding crowds due to the risk from catching COVID-19 in large groups. The US recorded the highest single-day death toll from COVID-19 on the eve of Thanksgiving, and currently has an all-time high seven-day average of new cases.
Read more: The best Black Friday deals of 2020 that are live now — plus how to shop, and everything else you need to know today
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had classified in-person shopping on and after Thanksgiving as a “high risk” activity, prompting many large retailers to extend Black Friday sales and shorten store hours. Some experts warned opening stores later in the day could actually increase the likelihood of large gatherings.
But not all stores are abandoned — shoppers lined up outside GameStop and Best Buy for a chance at the new PlayStation 5. For the shoppers
Here’s what empty stores looked like on Black Friday 2020: