Dena and William Townsend sew handmade masks out of their garage in Chesapeake, Va., on Friday, April 17, 2020. William originally started with helping Dena with cutting fabric for the masks but once her order list grew longer, she taught him how to sew and he now helps with the orders. (Kristen Zeis / The Virginian-Pilot)
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The flow of people was steady, but there were no long lines at Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake. In Virginia Beach, many shoppers opted for curbside pickup at Best Buy.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — It wasn’t the crowd you typically would see shopping on Black Friday, but there was a steady flow of people at Greenbrier Mall.
The steady flow, however, didn’t translate into long lines or crowded stores. Those were nowhere to be found.
You would find Marta Boyce. She said she and her family drove from Elizabeth City, N.C. to shop because it’s a Black Friday tradition for them.
“We wanted to support the businesses and just keep things as normal as possible in a crazy world today,” said Boyce. “My mom normally comes with us, but she didn’t wanna risk coming out, so she’s home.”
The National Retail Federation (NRF) offered an optimistic outlook for the 2020 holiday shopping season. NRF projects people will spend more on holiday gifts this year to lift the spirits of their loved ones during a tough year, caused largely by the pandemic.
NRF projects holiday sales during November and December could reach up to $766 billion, up 4% compared to holiday sales in 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled shopping in crowded stores during the holidays a “higher risk” in the midst of the pandemic.
Milaina Brooks was all right with the risk.
“Everybody stays in the house and they don’t wanna catch anything, but Black Friday comes around, now everybody’s out,” said Brooks.
According to Adobe Analytics, online Black Friday sales are projected to reach $10 billion in 2020, an increase of 39% compared to last year.
At Best Buy on Independence Boulevard in Virginia Beach, the curbside pickup line wrapped around the corner of the building.
Becky Burnsworth, a shopper who lives in Virginia Beach, was in that line for 30 minutes.
“I didn’t wanna have to go in the store to try to be as safe as possible,” said Burnsworth.
She waited for workers to bring her new computer to her car.
“I would’ve had them ship to home, but I’m a teacher doing virtual stuff right now, and my computer died… so I have to have a new computer for Monday,” said Burnsworth.