Black Friday Shopping Takes on New Look During Pandemic

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Thousands of hard-hit businesses are banking on a big day as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season.

But with new restrictions in many states, this year’s Black Friday is sure to look very different.

Many retailers have taken it upon themselves to operate differently, limiting the number of shoppers, offering curbside service, and some are selling merchandise entirely online.

But there is some good news for stores—despite the pandemic’s financial strain on millions of families, holiday retail sales are expected to grow as much as 5%. And online spending could jump by a whopping 30%.

Matthew Shay, with the National Retail Federation, says “Black Friday will be different…Based on our research, more than 45% of consumers have indicated that they started their holiday shopping earlier than ever.”

Several states are cracking down on mask wearing. Connecticut’s governor says any Black Friday shoppers not wearing a mask will face a $100 fine and retailers will face a $10,000 fine.