Black Friday shoppers return despite pandemic, recent spate of armed robberies – CBS Los Angeles

TRADE (CBSLA) – Shoppers are back with a bang in Southern California malls looking for the best deals on Black Friday, otherwise known as the start of the holiday season.

The pandemic dampened the usual excitement of Black Friday last year, and many stores made the decision to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day and were forced to severely limit their capacity when they opened in order to allow social distancing between buyers. This year, most of those precautions have been thrown out the window, with buyers keen to spend money that hasn’t been spent during pandemic shutdowns.

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“Christmas is just around the corner and there are some great deals,” said a client named Marcus. He arrived at the Citadel Outlets at 2 a.m. and was waiting in line with dozens of other people to get on Coach at 6 a.m.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, 158.3 million plan to shop from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber ​​Monday, up from 156.6 million in 2020 and 165.3 million in 2019.

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Public health officials are quickly reminding people that the pandemic is by no means over and that cases are on the rise in many areas of California and across the country where vaccination rates remain low. But while masked shoppers didn’t seem overly concerned about the chances of catching COVID-19 while browsing merchandise in local stores, there was still some concern over the recent spate of armed robberies that have hit many. high-end stores over the past two weeks.

Earlier this week, five people encountered Nordstrom at the Westfield Topanga shopping center and seized at least seven high-end handbags before escaping in a Ford Mustang. Last week, a similar group entered a Nordstrom store in The Grove in West Los Angeles, smashed the store windows with a hammer, and ransacked the store; While in northern California, a similar crash wave ravaged stores in Union Square in San Francisco.

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With large crowds expected at local malls, the LAPD said it would “devote resources to some of these high-end places to deter further violence,” LAPD chief Michel Moore told the police commission at its meeting on Tuesday.



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