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Keeping the traditional Black Friday alive

Shoppers looking for deals still shop in person on Black Friday.

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — At 4 in the morning on Black Friday, there are just a few cars sprinkled in the parking lot of the Arena Hub Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township.

As they say, this is not your mother's Black Friday.

"We would go Thursday literally 6-7 o'clock and go straight through until 8-9 o'clock on Friday, so it would be a 24-hour shopping excursion," said Krista Bonavina from Wilkes-Barre.

This is a lot different, with many waiting for stores to open from inside their cars.

Still, though, some prefer this to online shopping.

"Online, it just takes too long; I'm impatient. I like going to the store and getting it right now, having it in hand, even though with Amazon, you can get it in one day; I can't wait that long," said Joseph Jendrzejwski of Kingston.

"It's different. I'm trying to get myself an Xbox Series S from in here, $250. That's a steal," added Richard Partington of Wilkes-Barre.

Minutes before Best Buy opened at 5 a.m., a crowd of about 20 people formed at the door.

"She woke me up for today, and I was having a good night sleep, so it better be worth it," said nine-year-old Ryan Shuckers of Swoyersville.

Back in the day, the line of shoppers waiting to get inside for the deal busters used to be tens of dozens of people deep. Now you have a handful of people, but shoppers tell Newswatch 16 that is okay by them.  

"Thank goodness nobody's here; that means I can get what I want," said Jendrzejwski. 

"I am happy that the stores are closed Thursday, and it's good that Black Friday is getting back to the traditional Black Friday; it's just changed a lot since COVID," added Bonavina. 

But shoppers leaving less crowded department stores say it's changed for the better.


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