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Black Friday is going digital this year and it's already started

You may not realize it, but you could be late to the game when it comes to Black Friday

NEW ORLEANS — Black Friday about a week away, but you may already be late to the game.

Stores are trying to navigate one of the busiest shopping days of the year amid the COVID-19 surge. So, how will it work?

Camping out, crowds of people, and sprints to the hottest sales have been put on pause this year. That's right, Black Friday 2020 will look different.

The short of it is, retailers are trying to get creative with the hopes it'll thin crowds. They're adding more ways to buy that prized item and giving you more options on how to get it, whether it's with contactless pick-up or even same-day delivery.

Now, don't panic, but Black Friday has already started. In fact, for a lot of big stores it began last month. No, you don't have to go in the store to save big, discounts are actually a mouse click or tap of the finger away, because Black Friday this go around is more virtual.

Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, Walmart, they all have deals online right now, and new ones are added sometimes daily. 

Home Depot is letting their mobile app users get advance access to some bargains and Best Buy is doing Black Friday all season long. 

Interested in Bed Bath and Beyond? They're offering buy online and pick it up in the store within two hours service.

Now if you're one of the brave ones who prefers the smell of discounts in-person on Nov. 27, you'll notice more safety and capacity controls. At Walmart, only a certain number of customers will be allowed inside at a time. The line to get in will be single file and aisles will be one-way.

Target is also trying something new: Reservations. Basically, you can save a spot in line without being there, and you'll be notified when it's your time to go inside.

Whether online, or in person, Black Friday will be different. But the goal is safety, that way people can save big all while trying to stay healthy.