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The pandemic is changing the way retailers handle holiday shopping

Many major stores were closed for Thanksgiving, but will open for Black Friday.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — After the Thanksgiving meals comes the marathon of Black Friday shopping. But this year it’s looking different because of the pandemic.   

Most stores were closed on Turkey Day but will open early Friday.   

Many shoppers will spend the big bucks online, but there are those who venture out to shop old school. They'll be met with safety guidelines.   

“I used to go in the stores, but since the COVID, I’m going to be doing most of it online,” said shopper Charlene Blanchard. 

Blanchard, like many shoppers, will be purchasing off her laptop or phone this holiday season.   

The pandemic is changing the landscape of shopping.   

“It’s changed because of being close to people, and a lot of people are not wearing their mask,” said Blanchard. “So it’s really a big thing to me.”  

Electronic stores such as Best Buy will limit the number of customers inside at a given time. The store is also shifting in-store pickups to curbside-only to reduce the number of people inside.  

“I was never the camper outside,” shared Blanchard. “I usually go if I’m off during the daytime, and either late when there’s not many people out.”  

COVID-19 helped reverse the trend of retailers being open on Thanksgiving Day, instead giving workers a chance to spend the holiday with loved ones.   

But not to worry, you can still catch deals online. Stores like Walmart, Amazon, and GameStop have markdowns on TVs, Apple devices, and home theater equipment.   

Blanchard is steering clear of electronics this year for her grandkids.   

“It’s so much screen time from school, their tablets - so they need books,” she said. “They need to use their heads.”