A look at the Bay Area’s pandemic Black Friday

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The crowded overnight lines typically seen on Black Friday were gone this year as coronavirus forces change to America’s traditions.

At the Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center in Dublin, Calif., a few people were going in and out of Best Buy at 6 a.m. but the tech store was all out of the high-demand PlayStation 5.

At the San Francisco Premium Outlets, lines were seen outside of Gucci and other stores for a deal on luxury bags and other items. But while it wasn’t a completely empty scene, it’s nothing like the rush of previous years.

“Out of all the years, this just seems like a normal day. I mean I like it because it’s not too many people. What I’m looking to get: Electronics. Probably a laptop or a nice little iPad for my father,” said Black Friday shopper Ezekiel Rojas.

Going out for Black Friday is the exact opposite of what health experts are advising as coronavirus cases increase nationwide: stay home.

Earlier this week, California reported over 18,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period. With more positive cases, the chance of catching or transmitting the virus has grown and makes every activity more risky.

Many retailers are adapting to safety guidelines by taking the single day of major deals and turning it into a month-long event, in person and online. Big retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy even closed shop on Thanksgiving day this year.

According to The Associated Press, the managing director of GlobalData Retail said stores are trying to keep Black Friday alive. “No retailer wants it to be tarnished,” said Neil Saunders. “It’s still vital to get their consumers spending and get consumers into the holiday mood.”

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