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Black Friday shoppers see added safety precaution

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- Black Friday is typically the biggest shopping day of the year, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise stores are taking additional steps to keep those who choose to shop safe. 

At Menards in Quincy management decided to open the store an hour early in order to get the line formed outside the door moving and avoid a crowd.

Managers said shoppers should expect to follow the same safety guidelines they've seen in place for months, including wearing a mask at all times. 

Customers will also see markers on the floor to help everyone social distance, and signs to remind them to wear a mask.

Menards first assistant general manager Portland Johnson said the store is also taking extra precautions on Black Friday.

"We will be able to keep track of the people coming in and coming out to make sure we stay under that 25 percent capacity," Johnson said. "We’re here for the community and we will adjust as needed as far as the influx of people coming in.” 

Management says they will limit people coming in, even below the state's mandated 25 percent capacity, if they feel crowds are starting to form or social distancing guidelines are not being met.

This year the National Retail Federation estimates 75% of stores are offering Black Friday deals before or after the big day.

It's an effort to spread shoppers out and avoid the large crowds typically seen on Black Friday. 

At Menards, management said their Black Friday sales will last for 10 days.

Some local shoppers say the pandemic has changed the way they think about holiday shopping.

“Everyone needs to take extra precautions, so they’re handling it differently than previous years I’m sure. Everyone should be handling it differently this year.” shopper Carol Brockmiller said.

Another way businesses, including Menards, are deterring large crowds is by offering the same Black Friday deals online as they offer in store. 

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Isabella Rossi

Multimedia Journalist

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