CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Retailers are seeing decent-sized crowds return this Black Friday, as the COVID-19 pandemic limited shopping trips for many last fall.
Other people are being drawn away from everything involved with Black Friday shopping: Maybe they're not comfortable in-store while the pandemic continues. Or maybe retailers are attracting more to online shopping, with earlier and longer sales.
“I don’t like traffic, I don’t like crowds," said Audra Smith, who preferred to shop online. "I like to avoid all of that. And I try to get shopping done early.
"I'll look through my emails and I'll look for sales. Some of the sales are like 'eh.' If it's like 20 to 30 percent off, it's like 'eh.' it's not really all that great. But sometimes you get a 50-percent off or whatever."
Brawnse Lopez, who did some shopping in-person Friday, understands why some would prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes.
“You know, when you go out in public there’s a risk involved these days, so," she said. "Definitely I think it’s smarter, or a more smart version, of shopping is online.”
Not everyone will agree that online shopping is easier when you miss out on some aspects of touching the merchandise.
“We like to see it," said Brittney Sanchez. "We want to be able to try it and not have to go back and return. It’s just easier when you come in the store.”
What about shipping delays? At least for Smith, she hasn't had any delays yet, and she's not too concerned.
“That’s another reason why I like to get everything done early because I won’t have to worry about the delays," she said. "Even if it is delayed, it’s usually not more than a few weeks.”
More deals are expected when Cyber Monday hits after the weekend.