Pandemic forces changes at Memphis stores ahead of Black Friday shopping

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Black Friday shopping may look a little different this year as businesses  make adjustments and hope to get customers through the door during a pandemic.

The first thing you may notice about this Black Friday shopping season is that getting that early run like you used to on Thanksgiving Day will be hard to come by. Many stores, like Target, are closing Wednesday night and aren’t opening until Friday.

Many customers say they are doing their shopping online.

“Everything mostly that we’ve looked at for Black Friday sales are online,” shopper Kaymen Herrera said.

Some big box stores where you can pick up everything from groceries and clothes to electronics have seen increased traffic as they never really closed during COVID. They are considered essential businesses.

“I’ve done some online, and then I try to shop local small businesses, try to keep them afloat during this during these times that we need to support our small businesses,” Sarah O’Neal said.

And for small businesses, that support is crucial.

Stephanie Jones owns Me and Mrs. Jones, a do-it-yourself paint boutique in East Memphis. She has had to make adjustments during the pandemic.

“I trimmed most of the expenses that I could,” she said. “Most of my staff was happy to sort of self-furlough.”

Now she is hoping the holiday season brings more customers through the door.

“Every product that we carry is a small or family, local owned business. So when the are supporting our small business they are also supporting other small creative businesses and that is just so important,” Jones said.

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