'I do not like Amazon shopping': Here’s how Black Friday looked this year in Saskatoon
SASKATOON -- While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Saskatoon, people are still lining up to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
“I needed a new pair of shoes so I figured today would be a good day,” shopper Kyle Gladue said.
Another shopper, Bernie Pochylko, said she went out to get some of her Christmas shopping done.
“I do not like Amazon shopping. I like to see what I’m buying.”
Pochylko said she felt safe while visiting stores and added that she wants to see them remain open — something she feels wouldn’t happen if people turn solely to online shopping.
“It’s small business so I want to see them stay open and everyone healthy and happy.”
Niall Richmond, general manager of Visions Electronics, said people have been consistently coming in throughout the day, but the store is nowhere as busy as it usually is on Black Friday.
“There wasn’t that initial kind of hundred-person line, that line you know that can stay there for a couple hours the first couple hours of the day, and that wasn’t the case today.”
Richmond said he and his staff have been preparing for Black Friday for some time. Visions Electronics has lowered its capacity and has set up signs both in and outside the store encouraging people to maintain physical distance.
Richmond said the store also started its Black Friday sale on Nov. 1 in an effort to avoid large crowds on the actual day.
“It’s something that each business does a little bit differently but we found a way to do it and feel pretty safe here,” he said.
Prairie Proud, a local clothing store, is focusing its efforts on getting people to shop online rather than in-store.
“We’re seeing just a few people coming in to pick up in the store but mainly that focus on the online channel, which I think is the way that we can all socially distance,” founder and owner Cole Thorpe told CTV News.
He said he’s grateful that people continue to shop local during these challenging times.
“Normally this is our busiest time as we head towards the holidays. And the fact that people are spending disposable income with a variety of small business including us, it certainly means a lot and it makes me motivated to continue working hard and being safe taking precautions.”