Black Friday shopping: In-person or online?


Ky McCombe

Executive Director of the Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council Kellie Carper stands outside the office on Main Street.

Jaelyne White, Business and Technology Editor

Black Friday this year will be unique in the history of the fanatic shopping day. The amount of people going out early to stand in lines may drop significantly. The select large online retailers may gain even more income and fame. This pandemic has forced eager shoppers to make a hard decision: shop online or in-person?

“I know a lot of stores are having limitations, which is understandable. The deals, in my opinion, will be similar if not the same. I believe that with COVID regulations the typical chaos may be more controlled,” said freshman psychology major Emily McDaniels.

Black Friday excitement, as well as chaos, has been prevalent for many years since the mid 20th Century. However, the world was not in the middle of a pandemic in recent years, so this might actually lead to an easier shopping experience for in-person shoppers.

There are many businesses in downtown Whitewater that also offer special deals around the annual shopping holiday. There’s a large selection of well-made footwear at Dale’s Bootery, antiques at the White Elephant Shop and sumptuous products at Botanica Beauty Parlour. The Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council encourages safe shopping at specialty retail stores like the Fuzzy Pig for antiques and The Book Teller for collectables, as well as Thrift Shoppe and Reflections of the Past for thrift or consignment clothing.

“I will be wearing my mask and socially distancing while I shop,” said freshman elementary education major Shelby Sromek. “My hope is that employees will be stationed around stores to make sure customers are socially distanced and that instead of people crowding around items, employees can instead hand out popular items.”

Some are concerned about getting the best deals if they decide to online shop. Many retailers have released sneak peeks for their Black Friday sales. Walmart even has what they call ‘Black November’ this year, rolling out four sales bursts throughout the month. This is meant to help with reducing the amount of people that come to the stores in person on Black Friday, which may decrease the chances of large spikes of COVID-19.

“I was mostly concerned about contracting COVID while shopping in person, so I’ve decided to go online shopping. I don’t know if I’ll get the best deals, but my advantage is no human contact, and that’s what I care about,” said freshman early childhood education major Maura Vaughn.

This year has held many surprises, and whether in-person or online, Black Friday shoppers are hoping to find some good ones this Nov. 27.