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Despite pandemic, Tampa Bay stores see lines on Black Friday

Hillsborough County

BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – Black Friday is here and, with it all, the sales and doorbusters for those looking to save money. Despite the pandemic, many people are still braving it and heading into the stores for the things they need.

Many of the biggest retailers have sales on Black Friday, although many of those sales have been going on all month.

“I had my alarm set for 3:30 a.m.!” said Dee Dee Hooker, who came out early to stand in line at the Best Buy in Brandon.

Black Friday sales motivated people to head out early with the hopes of scoring some deals.

Old Navy has a huge sale of 50% off everything in-store on Black Friday. That discount will continue online for pants and sweaters and 40% off everything else. Cozy socks are just one dollar.

Over at Target, their deals started at the beginning of the month. Online they’ve had a “Deal of the Day,” and most of the Black Friday deals in-store are available online.

At Best Buy, the line started forming around 3 a.m. The big savings are on TVs, laptops, headphones and tech toys.

“Actually I never do this. I never do Black Friday. I don’t like the crowds. I usually shop online, but this was convenient for me today,” said Braxten Hobbs, who stood in line at the Best Buy in Brandon.

Many stores have taken extra precautions to clean and sanitize the stores for those who want to go out and shop. Markers have been placed for people to stand 6 feet apart. Masks must be worn and self-checkout lines have increased. Many of the sales started early and online this year.

Target has increased their online sales and given customers the option to drive-up, order pickup or do same-day delivery with Shipt.

Customers think early online sales have kept the large crowds away in 2020.

“That and a lot of people are scared to die cause of COVID,” Hooker said. “It scared a lot of people there and a lot of people are nervous. COVID canceled a lot of things this year.”

The big-ticket item this year is the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. The Best Buy in Brandon told customers the game consoles were only available for those who pre-ordered and not available on the shelves.

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