Area shopping centers were less packed than usual on Black Friday this year, though many shoppers commented how they preferred it that way. For those who did still do their shopping in person, there were still plenty of deals to be found at retail outlets.
The uptick in covid-19 cases has resulted in many people, who might otherwise be out trying to take advantage of Black Friday deals at physical stores, remaining at home and doing their shopping online. Parking lots were often only at half of three-quarters filled by 11 a.m. Friday. However, there were still those who patronized local businesses.
In New Britain, Westfarms Mall was decked out with wreaths and holiday lighting as Christmas music played for shoppers.
Ashley Miller walked to her car with both arms filled with JC Penney bags.
“I got some good deals,” she said. “I got a cooking pot and some clothes.”
John Gibbs, who was shopping at Westfarms with his family, was unfortunately unable to find an Xbox Series X like he’d hoped, but said that he was still able to find enough deals to be worth the trip.
“I’m glad we came out,” he said. “I didn’t get the Xbox but I did get a nice coffee maker.”
Arianna Hender said she stopped into several stores at Westfarms Friday morning.
“I like in store shopping better,” she said. “I need to see what I’m buying myself. I went go Garage where they had a buy one get one half off, Bath & Body Works where you could get a $100 deal for $30 and I also got some cologne for my boyfriend. I’m happy I’m came out; there’s not as many people as there were last year.”
Gayle Adams also had her arms full of shopping bags as she headed out of Westfarms.
“I found some good sales on clothes,” she said. “I’m shopping for all the kids and for clothes shopping it’s much better to shop in-person.”
In Bristol, Cindy Adams said she bought a tool set for her husband for Christmas at Wal-Mart.
“He likes working on the cars himself in the garage,” she said. “It was a good deal.”
Miguel Estevez stopped into the Bristol T.J. Maxx for some Black Friday shopping.
“I came out to pick up some nice clothes for my girl,” he said. “I want to get that Christmas shopping done early.”
Jamahl Jones Jones had come to the Bristol Wal-Mart to buy toys for Christmas presents for his kids.
“I almost didn’t want to get up after Thanksgiving,” he joked. “But I figured saving a few bucks was too good to pass up when things are tight. I like to look on the shelves and see what catches my eye.”
Tom Williams had come to Wal-Mart to find Christmas gifts for his grandkids. He said that he wasn’t about to let the coronavirus ruin Christmas.
“I’ve been going out in person this whole time,” he said. “I don’t like buying online and dealing with shipping; it isn’t worth it. Covid isn’t going away anytime soon; the politicians keep delaying the re-opening. You can’t spend your whole life hiding at home. I’ve got my mask and I’ll do what I have to do.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.