SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Black Friday is officially here. But like everything during a pandemic, it looks a little different. Large crowds outside big box stores are hard to find this year, and that's on purpose.
Outside Best Buy in Springfield Friday morning, a few dozen people lined up hoping to score a deal. That’s a far cry from prior years when lines wrapped around the building. Many retailers started their sales earlier this year online to discourage big gatherings.
“I was expecting to see a lot more people honestly,” said Kayla Long, a Eugene resident.
Some shoppers said they're not too concerned about the risks of shopping during the pandemic.
"With COVID going on, it's really quiet and really limited. So, I'm glad that I got here at least early enough to be one of the first, like, twenty people in line. I know it was a bit foolish to come this year because of COVID and everything, but I just wanted to do it for the experience,” said Jackson Velarde, a Corvallis resident.
Unlike years past, many big box stores were not open on Thanksgiving. Despite a reduction on shopping hours, the National Retail Foundation said comsumers are expected to spend over $730 billion this holiday season, a 4% rise from last year.