The raging coronavirus pandemic kept crowds thin at malls and stores across the country on Black Friday, but a surge in online shopping offered a small beacon of hope for struggling retailers after months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy.
In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their holiday spending.
The Mall of America opened on Black Friday to a thin line of masked shoppers, the first such normally congested shopping day since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States.
Some people waiting on folding chairs in the early morning hours to be among the first to enter the mall looking for deals, including the PlayStation 5 gaming console.
A security guard worked to instruct people in line to socially distance from each other as they waited.
Some people ran toward escalators inside when the mall opened at 8 a.m. Central time.
In New York, a clutch of people walked into a best Buy store as the doors first opened.
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