GLENDALE (CBSLA) — Just like eating turkey on Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping is also part of the annual tradition.
“Every year we come for Black Friday,” said shopper Hannah Binder.
Shopping for deals the day after is a ritual Hannah and Angela Binder didn’t want to miss out on, but this year, the mother-daughter duo had to adjust.
“It’s just the two of us and it’s been a little tricky this year because of (the pandemic),” Hannah Binder said. “We normally like to go to places that aren’t open or the deals we normally have aren’t the same because stores have been suffering so we understand.”
Lines were out the door at some stores and a steady stream of mask-wearing shoppers filled the Glendale Galleria, but some notice it’s calmer than years past.
“It’s a lot quieter, we can feel it,” said shopper Neville Hong.
Many stores here are trying to prevent long lines, so some are participating in a spot holder system.
What you do is scan the QR code on your phone, then you receive a text when it’s time to get in line.
“I think we can expect the crowds to be lighter this year than it’s been in previous years,” said Summer Taylor Martinez, a Deloitte retail consultant. “There is definitely a shift from in-store spending to online spending it’s been happening over a number of years but the pandemic has really accelerated that.”
One family has expressed that they appreciate the safety of pandemic shopping activities.
“I think this is the best and safest and it is out of the normal for us,” said Gillian Silva.
Normal for the silva family means hunting for deals after Thanksgiving dinner, but because of reduced hours this year, shopping had to wait until Black Friday itself.
“It’s easier to shop this time because you’re not pushing and shoving you just go,” Silva said. “You have your turn, your stay in line, you get your stuff and out you go.”
The family says they hope the massive Black Friday crowds will be left in years past.
At the Citadel Outlets, there were still large crowds, but the number of shoppers remained noticeably smaller than other Black Friday holidays.
And despite what looks like a busy shopping center, crowds at the citadel outlets are much smaller this year
“We’ve shopped on the Black Friday before and usually it’s elbow-to-elbow and you can’t get through. So right now, right here you can actually walk around. It’s easier,” shopper Luis Munoz said.
Munoz says he kept his Black Friday tradition, despite the global pandemic because some things are harder to buy online.
“I like shopping and looking at stuff, like the fit for example. I can’t do that online,” Munoz said.
Managing crowds can be tricky during the era of physical distancing, so there were designated waiting areas outside of stores, where face coverings were required.
Once inside, capacity is limited to just 25% or as few as ten customers.
“It actually made shopping a lot easier,” said shopper Monique Montalvo. “There was actually less hassle shopping. The stores are cleaner and neater since people aren’t rummaging through things.”
The National Retail Federation expects much more online shopping this pandemic year, and about a 4% to 5% percent increase in spending.