Shoppers brave COVID-19 safety protocols to score Black Friday deals

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It’s traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, however, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, Black Friday has changed this year.

“The doors opened at 7 a.m. this morning, and it has been a very different Black Friday,” said Melissa Cavanagh, CherryVale Mall’s marketing director.

Cavanagh says the mall had gone to great length to ensure shopper’s safety.

“Shoppers can expect to see the decals on the floor for the lines that are outside retailers,” she said. “The stores are reducing their occupancy… It means you have more space because you are going to be socially distanced from other shoppers.”

Gov. JB Pritzker’s Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations mean stores will monitor the amount of customers allowed inside to a maximum of 25% of capacity.

“You’re actually going to see the stores have an employee at the entrance, to keep an eye on that,” Cavanagh said.

While the coronavirus remains a serious issue, it didn’t stop many shoppers from taking part in the Black Friday sales experience in person.

“We’ve been shopping all day, since like 3 in the morning,” said shopper Claudia Flores.

Shopper Tabitha Miller said, “We started shopping out on the Business 20 and Kohl’s and stuff around 5 a.m.”

Gregory Wernick, Sr. said, “We just gotta pick up a couple odds and ends, and it’s a nice day.”

One mall employee said he looks forward to Black Friday every year and, in spite of COVID-19, he is happy that it was still possible.

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