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Roanoke shoppers keep Black Friday shopping tradition alive

Some people say it brings a sense of normalcy

ROANOKE, Va – The coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop some eager shoppers in Roanoke this Black Friday.

“Realistically with everything being in place, you know it’s easy to get into a mindset that there’s not a normal life out there and because when I really just want to put money back into the business to put money back into the economy, it’s important to us,” said Todd Widdows.

People like Lynn Wampler always make sure to get in line early to get their holiday shopping done.

“We just have a tradition of coming every year and so with everything else being crazy this year we didn’t want this to be different,” said Lynn Wampler.

But most shoppers agree, it’s nothing like years past.

“We’ve been out here before when the line has been wrapped down around PetSmart so it’s definitely much shorter and with the spacing, it just doesn’t seem to be as many people that are all this year so I guess people are being cautious,” Wampler said.

Virginia Tech Professor of Finance Derek Klock says major retailers started their Black Friday deals early to avoid large crowds.

“It hasn’t been so much Black Friday or Black Friday week it’s been Black Friday November. And so I think a lot of retailers came out of the gate early, hoping to spread people out,” Virginia Tech Finance Professor Derek Klock said.

Klock says some people may be in a better spot financially to spend extra money after a tough year.

“What people aren’t spending on travel they’re probably going to spend on gifts, and so I think the overall retail numbers are going to are going to show, pretty favorably this year,” Klock said.

But some people say waiting in line to get a great deal can make things feel a little more normal.

“This is normal this is what Black Friday has always looked like so I agree I think we’re just trying to embrace some normalcy,” Shopper Kelley Widdows said.

Black Friday turnout may have been lower this year as most people will wait to shop on Cyber Monday.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.