Here’s how COVID-19 is impacting Black Friday locally

Black Friday during COVID-19

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - This Black Friday looked a little different for shoppers running in to grab their holiday gifts than previous years because of COVID-19. Our crews caught up with some Black Friday shoppers at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Huntsville.

Shopper Aurelia Reeves said she flew down from South Carolina to spend some time with her family during the holidays. She said shopping on Black Friday gave her more than just a chance to shop after being isolated during the pandemic.

“When I am home back in South Carolina I can’t get out much because everybody is too afraid of the virus there,” Reeves said. “When I am here I have gotten out a lot with my daughter.”

Reeves said on Friday she felt a sense of normalcy with her family member Stacy McGee.

McGee told our crews her shopping experience wasn’t her normal Black Friday venture, but she said it was better.

“It used to be Black Friday we got up at four in the morning to get out,” McGee said. “We didn’t do that. We enjoyed the morning and we had coffee.”

At Academy Sports and Outdoors, Store Director Leslie Winsett said this year looks different from her perspective too.

According to store management, the crowd was about the same as last year but just more spread out with the deals lasting longer than just a day to account for social distancing.

“Our Black Friday sale actually started this past Sunday and it runs through close of business Saturday night,” Winsett said.

For people who aren’t comfortable going into the store, Winsett said they’re able to pick up curbside.

“We don’t want anyone to feel excluded,” she said. “We are in the midst of a pandemic.”

Winsett said at the top of every employee’s mind is cleaning, and more cleaning.

“We clean high tough surfaces multiple times a day,” she said. “We have spread out some of our displays on the racetrack so it gives people more space when shopping.”

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