Black Friday sees large decrease in store shoppers due to COVID-19

Local News

Experts are predicting a record year for online sales this holiday season, but local retailers say in-person shopping is still booming.

“I was very surprised. I would say we had the same amount, if not more foot traffic this year than we did last year on Black Friday,” said Andrea Pena, owner of Modern Society Boutique.

According to Adobe Analytics, COVID-19 caused a 52% drop in foot traffic on Black Friday compared to 2019.

Pena said she expected to see more people taking advantage of products on their website but hasn’t seen a big jump in online sales since the pandemic.

“We can see a trend in people wanting to support small businesses, and the foot traffic that we do see is coming to centers like this that have a lot of small businesses in them,” said Pena.

Pena said Modern Society did away with its annual two-hour Thanksgiving sale due to social distancing guidelines and pushed customers to the website.

While sales have been the same online and in-person, Pena believes shoppers will want to get out of the house and are aware of where to spend their money.

“It’s definitely a trend, and I think that skewed our numbers a little bit too on Small Business Saturday because I think – which is a wonderful thing – people aren’t choosing to shop small on Small Business Saturday, they’re choosing to shop small this entire season.”

On the National level, online sales seem to take the majority of shopping this year. Internet sales took in $9 million on Black Friday, a 20% increase.

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