By Tori Albanese; The Whetstone
Holidays will be severely impacted this year due to the continuing Coronavirus pandemic.
“Most stores are starting their Black Friday deal early,” junior Jordan Smallwood said. “I already planned for online shopping. This just helps with finding more deals.”
Most non-mall stores have started rolling out their Black Friday deals the first week of November, including Best Buy, Walmart and Target. Typically, those stores begin their deals halfway into the month, but they started earlier due to COVID-19.
“I’m more likely to do online shopping, yes.” Dr. Brantley Craig said. “With online shopping, there is much less need to go out and form crazy crowds.”
The Christiana Mall staff have already put precautions and rules in place to keep everyone safe while shopping. Those include limiting the amount of customers in stores, and taking away almost every seating area.
Another major change – Christiana Mall will be closed on Thanksgiving, with no stores allowed to open at midnight for Black Friday.
Holiday hours also are different compared to previous years. The normal extended holiday hours used to be 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day, altered only for Sundays. This year, the holiday hours are an hour less in the morning, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
“I’ve been planning to shop online since most stores offered deals online as well as in stores.” junior Kayla Williams said. “If I were to go to the stores, they should limit the amount of people inside and require masks to keep everyone safe.”
Christiana Mall is also offering the option for customers from their cars to sign up and hold a spot in line. Shoppers can go to the mall website (www.christianamall.com/spotholder) and reserve a spot to shop instead of waiting in store lines. This option is available to everyone, but it is not clear if every store is participating.
Christiana also is still having Santa Claus, but with major restrictions. Santa will be at the mall starting Friday, Nov. 20, until Christmas Eve, but will be reservation only.
This differs from previous years when Santa arrived at the mall during the second week of November. Also, pets will not be allowed in photos this year, unless they are service dogs.
“People should try and shop online.” junior Jordan Dean said. “Even with hand sanitizer and face masks, everyone is still at risk.”