Unfamiliar sight: Dozens of shopping centers closed ahead of Black Friday

25November 2021

— Across the Triangle, shopping centers were empty on Thanksgiving night.

Last year, COVID-19 concerns kept shoppers home on Thanksgiving, which dragged sales down.

But this year, retail experts said more than 65 percent of people who shop in the next 48 hours will do so in person — up form less than half last year.

Experts said that could translate to record holiday shopping sales this year.

But, on Thursday, gates set up outside Best Buy in Cary were empty as stores pushed back on the start of Black Friday spending.

Other major retailers, including Walmart and Target, also said their doors will stay shut until bright and early on Friday morning.

Garner store waits months to get needed items to sell

A number of retailers pitched the later opening as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to workers who’ve been dealing with customers throughout the pandemic.

Experts said they do expect a surge in shopping, and that Americans have cashed saved up because of the pandemic that they’re ready to spend.

“The holiday buying season is going to be the big opportunity for a lot of poeple to say, ‘You know what, I really want to go out there. I want to spend money. I want to make me happy. I want to make my family happy. This is going to allow me to forget the virus,'” said economist Mike Walden.

Finding the best TV deals on Black Friday

Shoppers told WRAL News on Thursday that they’re counting down the hours until they can head inside stores for Black Friday.

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