Black Friday shoppers brave COVID concerns, limitations in search of deals

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Eyewitness News found Black Friday shoppers out early despite ongoing concerns and limitations due to COVID-19 this year.

Macy's Herald Square didn't open its doors on Thanksgiving as usual. Instead the iconic store opened at 6 a.m. Friday.

Shoppers lined up early at Game Stop stores across the region, which opened at 7 a.m.

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NewsCopter 7 was over Linden, New Jersey as shoppers waited for a Game Stop store to open on Black Friday morning.

They are offering Play Station 5 and Xbox consoles, but the stores only have a limited quantity, so gamers were camping out in line to get their hands on the coveted few.

When it comes to malls, stores are really hoping for a big Black Friday turnout.

They have only been open for just a couple of months because of the pandemic, and now they want to make up for lost time.

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Nina Pineda helps you navigate the Black Friday deals with 7 On Your Side.

While online shopping is expected to between 20 and 30 percent, stores are taking precautions for those who want to shop in person.

At Queens Center Mall in Queens, they've set up sanitizing stations and cleaning protocols to keep everyone safe.

CLICK HERE for a full list of precautions in place at Queens Center and other Macerich properties.

Back in Midtown Manhattan, Eyewitness News spoke with the first woman in line at Macy's Friday morning.

Anita Fritz said there is a method to early morning in-person shopping madness.

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"Because between 6 and 10 a.m. they have the best deals, and after that it's all gone and they have a limited amount," she said. "I like to be in-person shopping so I can touch and feel stuff. That's why I came early, so I could get in and get early before the real crowd comes around 12 o'clock or so."

With capacity limits you might spend just as much time waiting to get into a store as shopping.

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But stores are offering some deep discounts to get people here.

Places like Macy's are offering up to 50 percent off some apparel.

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