SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The COVID-19 pandemic changed the shopping experience for many Black Friday customers in Sioux Falls. Shoppers went in search of bargains from behind the safety of masks. Both customers and stores are adjusting to this social distance shopping over the holidays.
Black Friday customers like Jill Pisciotti didn’t bargain on the pandemic impacting their holiday shopping.
“I’m just getting started, so as you can see with my cart, I’ve got a good jump on it,” Pisciotti said.
Pisciotti has a lengthy shopping list to complete ahead of Christmas.
“Lots of toys, I do have five grandchildren with one more on the way, due next month, so just lots of toys, games, whatever’s on their list is basically what I’m shopping for,” Pisciotti said.
Home for the holidays is reflected in the Black Friday shopping trends during the pandemic.
“Whether it be appliances, grills, patio sets, decorating at home, that’s been huge this year. People are putting more into their trees, and decorating their home. If you’re going to be home, you may as well make it very enjoyable,” Lewis Drug buyer Doug Schroeder said.
Many stores, like Lewis, have stretched-out their Black Friday sales through the weekend, so shopping crowds don’t get bunched-up and social distancing becomes difficult.
“Which I think works great for everybody, gives people more time to shop, so we’re expecting big things this weekend,” Schroeder said.
“It’s a little more spread out so there isn’t so much everybody’s trying to hit one store at the same time,” Pisciotti said.
The rise of online shopping has taken some of the luster off Black Friday shopping in-person. But for those who do venture to the stores during the pandemic, staying safe is a big deal during their holiday bargain hunt.
There was a line of customers waiting to get into the Lewis at 26th & Sycamore when the store opened Friday morning.
Black Friday is typically the busiest day for artificial Christmas trees sales for Lewis.