Black Friday in the time of COVID: Retailers adjust to the new normal

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What will Black Friday look like in the age of COVID? (PNC photo)

Black Friday usually conjures images of long lines, overflowing shopping carts, and packed retail stores.

But what will Black Friday look like in the age of COVID?

Black Friday is an annual ritual that has almost become a holiday onto itself.

With restrictions on gatherings imposed by COVID-19, some stores are foregoing Black Friday altogether.

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Others, like MicroPac, are keeping the tradition.

According to MicroPac manager Alfred Calinagan, they’re striving to maintain the annual bump in sales while also keeping customers safe.

“I know it’s a bit of a different time. Usually, we just open the door and everybody just comes in and does their maniac shopping. But right now, we’re doing more of a controlled method. Unfortunately, we have to limit customers because we’re still at PCOR 1 and we’re still trying to serve as many customers as we can,” Calinagan said.

Customers will be limited to five in the main store in Tamuning and three customers in their location at the Micronesia Mall.

To account for long lines, Calinagan says employees will go out to service customers who are still in line to reduce the wait.

Along with the requisite temperature checks, customers will be given disposable gloves to keep them safe.

Brian Mesa, manager of the Bestseller store in GPO, says they’re trying to not let the pandemic get in the way of the spirit of the season although like every other business, they’re taking the usual measures to keep customers safe including requiring masks and controlling traffic in the store.

“We’re trying to be like any other Black Friday..it’s just less people can be allowed in the store, so the traffic is just a little less, with more control,” Mesa said.

Macy’s manager Ryan Torres says the store has been doing its best to be both profitable and safe during Black Friday, with measures that include various online shopping options.

“Another option is doing our buy online to pick up at the store or buy online for pickup at curbside. And then the option is ordering on Macy.com and that will be mailed directly to your address, and get it in time for Christmas. So we have a lot of safety measures in place. Obviously, wear your mask properly, social distancing, hand hygiene. We constantly talk about that with our team, inclusive of our wellness checks, our occupancy plan that has been put into place where we have to follow the local mandate of 25%. So we’re watching that carefully so we can keep everybody safe,” Torres said.

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