Shoppers hit Jacksonville stores, despite COVID-19 concerns


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People were out in force at stores in the Jacksonville area on Black Friday. Retailers and shopping centers were keeping an eye on how many shoppers were coming through the doors.

Lines were steady outside of Best Buy, and shoppers were continuously coming in and out of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Most people said they’re seeing fewer shoppers this year compared to 2019.

“I mean, it looks like there are a lot of people here, but it’s really not that bad, it’s not as packed as I thought it was going to be,” said Jovy Fernandez.

It’s a different story at Jacksonville Mall. The 9OYS team saw a parking lot full of cars and plenty of shoppers. Employees were keeping track of the number of people inside. Customers were using all public doorways, despite the mall’s website showing there were only two entrances open.

Ray Hylton was keeping the tradition alive, shopping on Black Friday and getting a head start on gifts.

“Kind of helps out a little bit for Christmas and stuff so it’s always good to enjoy and especially on a day like this,” said Hylton.

The only difference this year was mask wearing, even if people don’t like it.

“I get frustrated because I’m not trying to wear the mask the whole time, but it is what it is,” said Fernandez.

Other people said customers were keeping their distance from one another.

“I guess I’m more afraid of passing something to somebody else than I am getting something, so I’m trying to keep my distance away from people,” said Michael Tandicoston.

In the end, people described their shopping experience as positive and enough to work up an appetite.

“So far it’s great, hopefully, we can go to Freddy’s (Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers) and get a burger or two,” said Zachary and Gerald Johnson.

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