Stores adapt to Black Friday shopping amid a pandemic

Shoppers who usually get ready to line up for midnight deals on Black Friday will have to wait a few more hours this year.Many local businesses cut down on hours and are preparing with COVID guidelines in mind. Last year, the Mall of New Hampshire opened its doors to shoppers at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. This year, shopping hours are changing for that location and many others.”In the past we’ve been open for 26 straight hours,” said Eric Proulx, General Manager of the Tanger Outlets in Tilton. For Proulx and the staff there, it’s the first Thanksgiving off in a decade.”The great news in all of this is that now the tenants can focus on the holiday at hand. It’s Black Friday how it used to be. It’s back, better than ever,” he said. It’s back with some modifications.”Obviously keeping the precautions in mind, the social distancing, the mask situation, high touch point sanitation stations,” Proulx said.He said the deals that make the day so popular will be there waiting for shoppers whether you want to shop in person, do curbside pickup, or try a new shopping experience that is a product of the pandemic.”We’re the only developer in the retail industry but you can do virtual shopping with us. You can make an appointment online and one of us at our fine offices across the country will actually do the shopping for you,” Proulx said. In Concord, at Gibson’s Bookstore, it’s all about shopping local.”Some people call it Black Friday, but a lot of independent retailers call it ‘plaid Friday.’ So we’re all going to be wearing plaid and anyone who comes into the store wearing plaid gets a 10 percent discount but then if they forgot to wear plaid they just have to say the word and they still get it,” said store owner Michael Herrmann. They’ll be enforcing COVID guidelines and also asking shoppers to go virtual. “Usually we try to get as many people into the store as possible we have all kinds of promotions and discounts and ways to get people in and this year we’re trying to help people pivot to do some online shopping,” Herrmann said. The Mall of New Hampshire opens its doors Friday at 6 a.m., as does Tanger Outlets. Gibson’s Bookstore opens at 10 a.m.

Shoppers who usually get ready to line up for midnight deals on Black Friday will have to wait a few more hours this year.

Many local businesses cut down on hours and are preparing with COVID guidelines in mind.

Last year, the Mall of New Hampshire opened its doors to shoppers at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. This year, shopping hours are changing for that location and many others.

“In the past we’ve been open for 26 straight hours,” said Eric Proulx, General Manager of the Tanger Outlets in Tilton.

For Proulx and the staff there, it’s the first Thanksgiving off in a decade.

“The great news in all of this is that now the tenants can focus on the holiday at hand. It’s Black Friday how it used to be. It’s back, better than ever,” he said.

It’s back with some modifications.

“Obviously keeping the precautions in mind, the social distancing, the mask situation, high touch point sanitation stations,” Proulx said.

He said the deals that make the day so popular will be there waiting for shoppers whether you want to shop in person, do curbside pickup, or try a new shopping experience that is a product of the pandemic.

“We’re the only developer in the retail industry but you can do virtual shopping with us. You can make an appointment online and one of us at our fine offices across the country will actually do the shopping for you,” Proulx said.

In Concord, at Gibson’s Bookstore, it’s all about shopping local.

“Some people call it Black Friday, but a lot of independent retailers call it ‘plaid Friday.’ So we’re all going to be wearing plaid and anyone who comes into the store wearing plaid gets a 10 percent discount but then if they forgot to wear plaid they just have to say the word and they still get it,” said store owner Michael Herrmann.

They’ll be enforcing COVID guidelines and also asking shoppers to go virtual.

“Usually we try to get as many people into the store as possible we have all kinds of promotions and discounts and ways to get people in and this year we’re trying to help people pivot to do some online shopping,” Herrmann said.

The Mall of New Hampshire opens its doors Friday at 6 a.m., as does Tanger Outlets. Gibson’s Bookstore opens at 10 a.m.

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