COVID-19 affects Christmas Eve shopping at Lynchburg’s River Ridge Mall

Despite smaller crowd, there was still a deadline dash for deals

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Like many things, Christmas Eve shopping looked different this year because of COVID-19, but at the River Ridge Mall in Lynchburg, there was still a deadline dash for deals.

“[I’m just buying] like little stocking stuffers and stuff. No big presents,” said Sarah Manley.

Online shopping seems to be the way most people went this holiday season.

“We’ve done most online, so today it was like the last crunch,” said Alayna Ballard.

Louise Dudley, the mall’s general manager, said that impacted this year’s Christmas Eve crowd.

“Our hours are not as extended as in years past, but the income is still about the same as last year.”

Dudley credited that to new shopping methods like a curbside pickup.

Inside the mall, 10 News witnessed many shoppers wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and using hand sanitizer; while there were some lines outside of stores.

“It’s worse than I thought. It’s a lot of people,” said shopper Tamisia Davis.

But not as packed as other shoppers thought.

“It doesn’t seem as busy as it normally is because of COVID,” said Stephen Bateman.

“I’m surprised it’s this light, honestly. I thought it would be really crazy out here today,” added Quinton Cox.”

The River Ridge Mall is closed on Christmas Day.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.