Many Central Floridians opt out of in-person Black Friday shopping

Most stores closed for Thanksgiving

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Black Friday marked with eager shoppers, doorbuster deals and lines snaking down aisles likely won’t happen this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic so instead, Central Florida consumers say they’re planning to shop from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Across the region, most stores were empty and shuttered on Thanksgiving, a stark contrast to years prior when the deep discounts began on Turkey Day.

Shoppers didn’t seem to mind, though, since they plan on scoring deals another way.

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“Possibly too many people in the stores and I’ll get the same deals online without having to go out, risking the chance of getting COVID,” Chad Schumaker said.

He and several others said braving the Black Friday crowds just isn’t worth it this year.

To keep up with the shift in the consumer experience, many retailers have been offering sales early to attract more online customers.

Still, some stores like Target, Best Buy, Hobby Lobby, Macy’s, Walmart and more will open their doors for anyone looking to check some items off their Christmas shopping lists.

Last year, shoppers in Central Florida lined up hours early and many stores were even open on Thanksgiving Day. This year, many stores were closed on Thanksgiving since there won’t be as many customers.

At least at GameStop, there was one man camped out on Thursday.

“I wanted to make sure I got a (PlayStation) 5,” Kyle Torres said. “That’s why I wanted to be here first and not crowded with a bunch of people.”

For information on which stores will be open on Black Friday, click here.

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