Black Friday will be less crowded than previous years due to Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 restrictions on shopping malls

Black Friday will be less crowded than previous years due to Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 restrictions on shopping malls
File photo of Black Friday shopping (Source: kauz)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Malls across the state will have to reduce their capacity from 75% to 50%, including retail stores inside.

This decision comes after the governor’s most recent orders to minimize large crowds to help curb an increase in coronavirus cases.

”We are definitely abiding by the guidelines that they have in place,” said Laura Rentrop.

Rentrop owns The Foyer in Baton Rouge, a multi-merchant store not located in the mall. However, she says they’re still taking the same precautions to give customers a safe shopping experience this weekend. But as COVID-19 cases rise, many shoppers have chosen to dodge the Black Friday crowds.

”I guess for peace of mind, being able to shop a little earlier, and just getting some really nice things for your family,” said Lerae Johnson, who was out shopping.

For some, getting holiday shopping out of the way early is a fun way to spend time with the family.

”I’m shopping with my mom for early Christmas presents, and we don’t have to get in the rush of doing everything last minute,” said Bella Thorne, who was shopping with family.

To help reduce any shoppers’ concerns about big crowds, stores like The Foyer are offering curbside pickup and ramping up sanitizing and social distancing. Many others have strengthened their online shopping presence; these are all efforts to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.

”Come on out and shop. We’ve got all of the restrictions in place. We are going to keep you safe. Come shop local. We’ve got tons of artist, tons of Christmas stuff. Come on out,” said Rentrop.

As for the Mall of Louisiana, a representative tells WAFB’s Donovan Jackson they will be heavily monitoring foot traffic and counting as people enter the building.

Click here for details about the modified Phase 2 restrictions on businesses.

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