Black Friday draws smaller shopping crowds this year

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy opened their doors at 5 am on Black Friday.

Bright and early, shoppers braved the weather hoping to get those Black Friday deals.

“We got here about 2:30,” says Michelle Mclean, Black Friday shopper.

Mclean made sure she was the first person in line at Walmart in East Syracuse Friday morning. She says she doesn’t usually participate in Black Friday shopping, only if she is looking for something she wants. This year, she is looking for a 70 inch TV, and she got it!

“It feels wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Now I can go home and eat and go back to sleep,” says Mclean.

But not all shoppers were as lucky as Mclean.

“I was hoping maybe get a play station 5 but I doubt that’s going to happen,” says Cy Thayer, Black Friday shopper.

The parking lot at the Best Buy in DeWitt had more cars than it normally would at 6 am. Laura Vanatter, a Black Friday shopper says she thought about getting to Best Buy at 5 am, because she didn’t know what it was going to be like. However, she said the weather held her up and she wasn’t able to get there until after the doors opened, adding that it was not crowded inside the store like previous years.

With the addition of online deals, some major retailers hold big sales weeks before Black Friday. Experts say Black Friday isn’t like it use to be where stores are opening at midnight and people are waiting in long lines to get the best deals, and customers agree.

“It use to be where you would have to wait in line for a long time and there’s always huge crowds and long lines at the register. I haven’t seen any of that,” says Vanatter.

“I know in the past its been hectic. I didn’t know what it was going to happen with like COVID and what not this year. But it was a lot less busy than I thought it was going to be,” says Ryan Maccombie, Black Friday shopper.

The crowds were also small at Destiny USA Mall on Friday morning. Destiny opened its doors at 7 am and will close at 9 pm.

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