Shoppers line up days ahead in hopes of buying PS5 gaming systems

2 people purchased PS5 at Game Stop

Shoppers in Central Florida are seeing a much different Black Friday experience as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes for holiday shopping this year.

Most stores remained closed on Thanksgiving and spread-out deals to avoid large crowds.

Game Stop was one of the few retailers that saw long lines when doors opened on Friday.

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Dozens lined up outside one location on East Colonial Drive for a chance to buy the new PS5, however, only two gaming systems were available for purchase.

Kyle Kazembe was one of only two people who were able to purchase the video game console, which has very limited availability.

“I’ve been camping out here since Wednesday night, so it made it worth it because I was sleeping on the concrete,” he said.

Many stores eliminated or reduced the number of doorbuster sales and limited the number of people allowed inside.

At the Best Buy on Conroy Road, masks were required, and workers stopped shoppers from entering the store when it reached 40% capacity.

“You see the line was pretty short when I came,” Rose Louissaint said. “I was kind of shocked about that, but then again it was expected because a lot of people lost their jobs.”

Some shoppers remained outside the store and instead opted for curbside pickup.

“We didn’t know they had curbside and we saw on the internet. I think that it’s easier and more safe,” Estebin Teram said.

A survey from Deloitte found 51% of shoppers feel anxious about shopping in-store this year.

Despite the concerns and financial strain on many families, the National Retail Federation expects holiday shopping to increase by as much as 5%.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.