DALLAS - Pre-dawn on Black Friday 2020, the line outside a Dallas Best Buy store started forming not long after Thanksgiving dinner.
“Like 2:30 a.m. in the morning. We were the first people out here,” Leizet Zubari said.
A modest crowd for big bargains, and shoppers with many reasons for getting out.
“Because I love my wife, she’s a baker and she wanted this mixer and there was a good deal today,” Sean Berube said.
“It’s early, I was up, and I just wanted a sound bar, and I knew they were having a great sale,” Betty Gilmore said.
The view from SKY4 Friday morning showed steady but not stellar activity at outdoor outlet shopping malls in Allen, Grand Prairie, and north Fort Worth.
In Southlake, Santa was not wearing a mask, but using a plexi-shield to separate himself little ones.
Just as the pandemic is separating many retailers from their top wish: big profits.
“They’re going to have a tough time,” economist Dr. Bud Weinstein said. “There are 100,000 fewer people working today than a year ago, so that’s going to clearly impact retail sales.”
Dr. Weinstein, a professor with the SMU Cox School of Business, said look for record high online holiday shopping and brick and mortar businesses fighting hard to compete.
“In order to get shoppers through the door at the traditional brick and mortar sales stores, they are going to be offering really blockbuster deals. That’s the only thing I think will draw people into malls and big box stores,” he explained.
Meantime, the Galleria Dallas, known for Christmas pageantry, is following suit with big incentives.
“We have lots of square footage here, so shoppers can spread out,” said Holly Quartaro.
And strict pandemic protocols in place to reassure shoppers that safety is the priority.