Smaller crowds on Black Friday in Knoxville

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)– Black Friday shopping during a pandemic had it’s obvious differences from years past.

The most noticeable difference would be the COVID-19 restrictions.

Shoppers were lined up at Academy Sports and Outdoors wearing face masks, and were decently spread apart between each different group.

As they headed inside at 5 a.m., they grabbed freshly sanitized carts.

Of course, Knox County has a mask mandate, but on top of that, the manager of the store urged customers to continue to follow safety guidelines while shopping inside.

“You know, (we) ask that you do wear your mask for everybody’s safety. It’s for your safety, not just ours. And it keeps everybody safe as you’re shopping in our store,” manager Chris Eakin said.

Customers were also prepared to shop safe, because there was no way some were missing out on the traditional shopping holiday.

Lyndsey Savage said she wanted to shop in person.

She had her bejeweled mask, hand sanitizer and planned to keep her distance away from other shoppers.

“(My friend and I) have been shopping together for the past seven years, so we just wanted to continue on with that tradition,” Savage said.

While stores might have had long lines as they were getting ready to open, those lines didn’t stick throughout the day — at least not as compared to previous years.

“Nowhere near like it’s been the past years. I mean, no lines, little traffic,” one shopper said.

Shoppers said there was a lack of crowds at other larger retailers in the area as well.

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