SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Abandoned parking lots, stacked shopping carts, and closed stores are making a new trend in the Sacramento region on the eve of what is typically the biggest shopping day of the year.

“With everything going on I don’t think I’ll go out. I’ll probably get something online,” said Andrew Kinsey.

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Usually, shoppers would already be working off their Thanksgiving meal looking for the best deals, now they’re searching online.

“Maybe it will be better than people flooding over each other and stomping over each other every single year,” he explained.

Black Friday brawls and traditional long lines are a thing of the past with 25 percent store capacity in most California counties and social distancing

“I don’t like standing in lines. If I want something, I want to just walk in the store and get it and walk out,” said Amanada January who plans to shop online.

Sacramento State finance expert Sanjay Varshney believes Black Friday as we know it is gone.

“I don’t expect Black Friday to have any significance a few years from now, in fact the new generation, the younger generation probably won’t even know what it is,” Varshney explained.

As more people look for deals online, Varshney says the idea of standing in-line in the era of COVID-19 is no longer appealing to customers.

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“Shopping is not going to be the same again, I think a big chunk of shopping is going to be online,” he said. “They are not waiting for Black Friday discounts to start tomorrow, they have already begun and for a large part these discounts are going to continue well into December,” he explained.

Despite the fading fad holiday, retail sales are expected to grow as much as 5% nationally and online spending is expected to spike more than 30 percent over last year. Local Sacramento businesses who are also logging online are hoping they are on the receiving end.

“A lot of stores have same-day delivery, they can beat out some of the bigger names that you hear so don’t discount the small guy and their ability to be in that space,” said Communications Director for Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Emilie Cameron.

Varshney believes the new trend is a good thing for businesses, as stores continue to have long-term salespeople are likely buying more overtime.

If you do decide to shop in-person Arden Fair and other malls have extensive cleaning in place. Curb side pick-up in some locations will also be available.

Roseville Galleria will also have a capacity monitor on their website for customers to see. Roseville PD says if the mall reaches capacity, they will temporarily close select entrances into the parking lot to slow the flow of traffic into the center.


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