Black Friday Kicks Off in South Florida With Social Distancing, Reduced Crowds of Shoppers

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As Black Friday rolled around in South Florida, some shoppers kept up with tradition and woke up early to shop, though the pandemic has forced stores to enhance safety protocols and encourage online buying.

At the Walmart in Cooper City, a small line of people waited for the store to open, all wearing masks and social distancing as they stood outside. By opening time, however, the line had disappeared.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled shopping in crowded stores during the holidays a “higher risk” activity and says people should limit any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets.

Stores have encouraged people to shop online or order for curbside pickup, and they’ve also extended their discount schedules so as to avoid drawing crowds.

The day after Thanksgiving has been losing its luster as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season for the past several years, with more stores were offering holiday discounts throughout the month. Still, Black Friday has remained the busiest day of the year, according to ShopperTrak, and is expected to hold that title again this year.

Friday is projected to generate $10 billion in online sales, a 39% bump from the year ago period, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures sales at 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

And Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, will remain the biggest online shopping day of the year with $12.7 billion in sales, a 35% jump.


1 Fort Lauderdale

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