COVID-19 precautions to know before Black Friday shopping at metro retailers

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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – After a struggling year financially retailers and small businesses are eager for a chance of boosting their stores through Black Friday sales. But how different will it look to avoid the Coronavirus spreading rapidly?

Usually, certain companies like the big retailers of North Park mall would already be open or have long lines of people waiting for the big deals, but with COVID-19 still lingering many have reduced their hours and will wait till Friday morning to open their doors.

The first to welcome holiday shoppers will be J.C Penny opening at 5:00 a.m. and Belk at 7:00 a.m. North Park staff says they’re prepared to handle the usual Black Friday crowd.

“What they’re going to be experiencing is a similar experience as years past just with a few slight pivots,” North Park Mall Marketing and Business Development Manager Christy Pender said. “People are now wearing masks, we have hand sanitizing stations located throughout the property, some stores are controlling capacity.”

Along the main entrances to North Park, there are signs reading masks are required to enter. But for Black Friday the mall’s policy seems to be just encouraging masks leaving the requirements up to each business.

“We at North Park are not going to deny anyone entry, North Park is a place for everyone,” Pender added. “Each individual store does have their own policies and customers will have to abide by what each individual store is requiring of their shoppers.”

If you do show up with no mask but want one mall security will be there to hand them out. For those who do come out North Park is still offering special free giveaways to early shoppers.

“To the first 100 people at 9:00 a.m. free movie passes,” Pender continued. “To tell guests we appreciate you this holiday season so have a movie on us. Everyone who shows up will be entered to win a $100 gift card to H&M.”

Doors will officially open at the North Park main entrances at 8:00 a.m. followed by its other largest retailer Dillards at 9:00 a.m.

Staff at Belk have already set up curbside pick up for anyone who wishes to order online with the same deals to avoid going inside.

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