COVID-19, online shopping, recent crime make for a different Black Friday shopping experience this year, Central Texans say

Some locals still opted to set their alarms early today as an ode to tradition
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 3:16 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The years of hundreds waiting in line early Friday morning after Thanksgiving, eager to rush into a retail store for highly discounted products, may not be completely over.

But what was once considered the Superbowl of shopping certainly isn’t what it used to be.

According to Business Insider, Black Friday has taken a back seat to Cyber Monday as the biggest shopping day of the year.

For some Texans, they think these changes are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Black Friday experience has changed because I think COVID is a factor,” Sheila Gosselin, a Waco resident, said. “I think it’s just made retailers and everyone realize that family is so important.”

For others, the trend towards more convenient online shopping has kept folks home this year.

“The ease of just clicking a button and ‘voila,’ it’s in your cart, pay for it and you’re done,” Nema Miller, a Waco resident, told KWTX. “You don’t have to go out. You can do it in the comfort of your home.”

And for others, crimes at shopping centers like the Killeen mall shooting last year, as well as the Walmart mass shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia earlier this week, have made them think twice before heading out for Black Friday sales.

“It’s a tragedy any time of year but when it’s so close to the holidays it makes you hold your loved ones closer,” Diana Reyes, a Dallas resident, said. “It makes you scared to shop like I’m about to be.”

But that hasn’t stopped everyone, like some shoppers in Waco this morning who were excited to keep the tradition going.

“It’s a tradition, we do it every Black Friday,” Charlotte McDaniel, a local shopper, told KWTX. “We meet at IHOP for breakfast and then go to every store in Waco.”

While some things have changed, the spirit of holiday shopping surely hasn’t.