Shoppers still flock to stores during Black Friday

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

JACKSON TWP.  The big question so many were asking before Nov. 27 was “is there going to be a Black Friday for holiday shopping this year?”

With coronavirus restrictions and recent surges in the number of cases, that question probably crossed everyone’s mind, including the retailers themselves.

Stores on The Strip had their parking lots well over half full and some stores had people lined up to get inside. With social distancing and other CDC guidelines in place, many stores were only allowing so many people in at one time.

If Jackson Township is an indicator, Black Friday 2020 was a success. While the actual numbers haven’t yet been reported, the parking lots around Belden Village Mall, The Strip, the Target/Kohl’s plaza and other areas told most of the story.

Around noon on Black Friday, lots were filling up and there were steady streams of shoppers going in and out of the stores. A few stores on The Strip had lines of people outside waiting to get into the shops, including Marshalls and Old Navy.

The traffic around Belden Village was heavy most of the day. And there were long lines of traffic on The Strip.

The parking areas at the Venue at Belden plaza on the corner of Everhard and Whipple were filling up around noon on Black Friday.

According to www.blackfriday.com, “A lot of people have been left wondering if Black Friday will be cancelled this year. The answer is a resounding – No. There’s still going to be a mad dash to scoop up deals on electronics, games, apparel and more. But the frenzy will be around a computer as retailers are opting for more online deals rather than long lines at front doors.”

Many retailers this year had contingency plans in case people didn’t show up at the front door including online shopping, curbside delivery and offering weeklong or even month-long specials. Bath and Body Works was one of those retailers.

Its Black Friday specials began in stores Nov. 23-25, continued online only on Nov. 26 and were online and in stores on Nov. 27. Best Buys closed Thanksgiving Day but was open on Black Friday with deals available online and in store. It also offered a schedule of sale events there were available throughout the month of November online and in store.

Home Depot reportedly offered its special deals and pricing through November and have plans to offer more through December both online and in the store. Kohl’s was closed on Thanksgiving Day but opened, according to blackfriday.com, at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Sam’s Club stores ran weekly sales events starting at the end of October and into November both online and in the stores.

The Duluth Trading Co. store on Whipple had a steady stream of shoppers on Black Friday.

Black Friday has traditionally been the kickoff to three days of super deals for holiday shoppers. Small Business Saturday has been following Black Friday since 2010 when American Express started it as a promotion. Following those two days of shopping is Cyber Monday, which started in 2005.

Retailers tagged the day Black Friday because it was the one day of the year that many retailers’ sales and profits came out of the red (losing profits) and went into black (gaining profits). While the name for the day after Thanksgiving began when retailers started using it in the early 1960s, the day really started to gain in popularity in the mid-1980s and has grown into a national event.

The new Dick’s Sporting Goods store at Belden Village Mall and other stores at the mall had a steady stream of shoppers on Black Friday.