AUSTIN, Texas - Black Friday certainly is looking a lot different during a raging pandemic, however it didn't stop some shoppers from hitting the big box brick and mortar stores.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's no surprise that Black Friday shopping turned into a totally new experience.
“We haven’t had anybody fighting us on wearing a mask or not wearing a mask. As far as the social distancing they are doing a great job,” said Teela Stewart, store director at Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Academy Sports and Outdoors is one of the big box stores that had some stellar deals...and new COVID-19 protocols.
“We have the store professionally disinfected. Every single time a cart is used we wash it. We offer hand sanitizer to every customer,” said Stewart.
“The pandemic is a scary thing but with all these precautions we have in here, I have no worries coming to work,” said store employee Najhar Ellison.
The shoppers said on Friday, they appreciate the safety measures. Katie Brewer hit several stores, and she said you can tell there is a raging pandemic going on.
“Well, there is nobody out. Not many people shopping and the sales don’t seem to be as crazy,” she said.
Patrick Leahy, visiting from Washington state, said he got in and out of the mall with no issues.
“We had to go get some clothes for my son at Barton Creek and it was, it felt like any other Saturday. I was very surprised at where we parked rolling in, there are 11,” said Leahy.
Like many stores, Academy opened at 5 a.m. Friday. Stewart says she has seen a shift what people are buying--since the pandemic hit. “A lot of people are at home more. You don’t have to wear a dress to work you can just wear leggings,” she said.
Stewart said even before the pandemic, online sales were a hit and with COVID-19 around they are an even bigger hit than foot traffic in stores. It could look this way until a vaccine is released.