NJ stores prep for Black Friday shopping during COVID pandemic
What does Black Friday shopping look like during COVID-19 in New Jersey? To start, it’s already gotten underway weeks earlier than usual, as stores hope to spread out customers to meet public health protocols during the pandemic.
Instead of a single in-store event, Walmart has planned three separate Black Friday events, and is offering some of its biggest deals online, for curbside pickup or delivery.
Stores will open at 5 a.m. on those special savings days, with customers directed to socially distance in-line outside, according to a video posted to the retail giant's website.
Walmart also will be keeping track of the number of customers instead stores at one time, to stay within reduced limits amid coronavirus directives.
As of Sunday night, existing state directives limit occupancy to 50% of maximum store capacity at one time, in executive orders from earlier this month.
Target also has been monitoring customer traffic in stores, while also offering most "Black Friday Now" deals for an entire week both in-store and online, according to a spokesperson. Many of the deals can be picked up using contactless services.
On Sunday, New Jersey had its public health emergency extended for the ninth time since March, amid more than 8,600 new confirmed cases and almost 50 new confirmed deaths of COVID-19 patients over the two-day span of the weekend.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 200, as a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed, under state law.
“Despite the hope that is on the horizon, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over,” Murphy said in a written statement. “We continue to utilize all resources available and will need the ability to do so as we battle this virus through the second wave that has enveloped our nation and our state."
Here's more on shopping options for Black Friday and the rest of the 2020 holiday season, at some of the state's biggest retailers.