How small businesses are adjusting to welcome Black Friday shoppers amid pandemic

Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-27 17:41:56-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- With the season for shopping in full swing Friday, many small businesses worked to make adjustments to accommodate shoppers during the pandemic.

On what would typically be the busiest shopping day of the year, downtown Broad Street was quiet Black Friday morning.

"I really think the movement for this year is this massive shift online," said Paul Trible, CEO and co-founder of the local men's clothing store, Ledbury. "People are looking for less exposure. It’s not as much door busters and people running in."

Trible said that shift was holding true for their business Friday.

"Ninety percent of our business is online, so really today is setting trends to be one of our most successful days online in history," Trible said.

Several miles away, Carytown was also seeing it’s fair share of shoppers -- these ones taking to the streets. However, many said the street was less busy than in previous years.

"The wife is doing some shopping so we’re standing outside, waiting on her," said Eric Evans, who waited with his son Maxime. "It’s slow. It’s very slow compared to previous years."

While some waited, others shopped. Jen Campbell spoke with CBS 6 after purchasing candy at For the Love of Chocolate Friday morning. She said it wasn't her first stop of the day, and it wouldn't be the last.

"Everyone’s been super friendly and cautious and everyone's been wearing masks that I’ve seen," said Campbell.

Owner Elizabeth Vranas said they had seen a steady flow of people throughout the morning.

"There's a lot of people coming in and out," said Vranas.

She added that For the Love of Chocolate does all their business inside the store, but have had to make some adjustments due to the pandemic.

"We don't do anything online," Vranas said. "It's just a lot of cleaning and sanitizing, and making sure everything's safe."

Right up the street a small line formed outside Plan 9 Records.

"Since the pandemic, we’ve limited the number of people in the store," said Owner, Jim Bland. "We require sanitizing, masks, so that just creates the line to last a little longer than it normally would."

Bland encouraged Richmonders to shop small this holiday season.

"All of us small stores, the book stores, and the toy stores -- we're local businesses." said Bland. "I think for this community, it's important to help us. Same thing for the restaurants. They really need us."



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