Black Friday shopping begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON – On Thanksgiving night, the parking lots were mostly empty at big stores across the Houston area.

In past years, some places would have already opened their doors to Black Friday shoppers but this is no ordinary year.

“I think that a lot of people will be shopping online more than usual,” said Samah Khan. “I think there will be a good amount still going in person just because they might be a little more used to it or think that there might actually be better deals in person.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many retailers have already rolled out the deals online.

“I’m probably just going to shop online. I’m not going to go to any store,” said Houston resident Judy Louis.

COVID-19 or not, some traditions live on. More than a dozen people were lined up outside of a GameStop outside of Richmond around 10 p.m. Thursday.

“I got here on Wednesday at around like 9 a.m.,” said 20-year-old Justis Wineland.

He is hoping to get a PlayStation 5.

“It’s impossible to get it online. It sells out in seconds,” Wineland said. “I’ve been trying to get it online for weeks and I miss every single time. I’m like 0 for 20 and I missed again last night and I was like, alright, I have to stay here.”

While camping on the concrete isn’t exactly luxury, he thinks he has the advantage over internet shoppers.

“All online and make it ten times harder to get anything because everyone’s going to be online and everything’s going to sell out very quickly,” Wineland said.

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