Black Friday shopping becomes multi-day event

Shopping Black Friday during a pandemic

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Black Friday got off to a slow start for many stores.

Unlike past years, stores couldn’t open at midnight due to Gov. Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

At Assembly Row in Somerville, there were no lines in sight Friday morning.

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“I woke up early and the parking lot was basically empty,” said Chris Fitzpatrick, of Newton. “Same with the stores, there was no line.”

This year, many retailers are turning Black Friday into a multi-day event. Many stores are extending their sales over the next several days and offering deals online ahead of Cyber Monday.

For shoppers craving the traditional in-person experience, stores will likely be less crowded inside as retailers follow strict capacity limits. Most stores are limited to 50% capacity.

“From the past other years, people are like pushing and shoving to get what they want but it’s pretty civilized,” said  Andrew Greenberg, Newton. “I feel very comfortable going inside of stores with all the protocols of six feet and the hand sanitizer.”

“If it looks overcrowded I won’t go in, but we’ll be safe, put on a mask, and shop as we normally would,” said Laura Davis, of Hyde Park.

Alyssa Pizzano, an Adidas employee, said that her store is enforcing safe shopping.

“Obviously 6 feet away, the capacity is 50 at the moment, so we’re going to have obviously the lines going down out here, and hand sanitizer everything like that. Making sure not everyone’s close to each other.”

The National Retail Federation expects sales to grow by 3.5% to 5% compared to last year. They also expect Americans to spend roughly $30 billion more on holiday shopping this year.