Defying the pandemic and a down economy, Hawaii shoppers scramble for Black Friday deals

Defying the pandemic and down economy, Hawaii shoppers scramble for Black Friday deals

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii malls still drew crowds and long lines on Black Friday, despite concerns over coronavirus.

Malls around Oahu were keeping stores at 50 percent capacity. Their precautions included social distance markers, extra sanitation efforts and line control.

“Traffic has picked up tremendously here, we are still adhering to the 50% capacity of the center,” said Diana Su, the marketing director for Pearlridge Center. “But there are quite a bit of shoppers that are out here today.”

In the morning and afternoon, Pearlridge center drew crowds and had long lines. Su said stores were managing the waits and encouraging people to sign up on the waitlist online to avoid gatherings. She said customers have been complying with mask mandates.

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii said stores have been doing everything they can to keep customers safe, including offering bargains over more than just the weekend.

“What we’re seeing now is the specials are being extended,” said Tina Yamaki. “So it’s maybe one two weeks or for the full month of November, you get this while supplies last type of thing. And then a lot of times too now, people can shop online.”

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the crowds were a bit nerve-wracking to see.

“I’m a little bit worried about Black Friday sales,” he said. “I’m hopeful that people order online or stay very careful about their social distancing if they go out to shop today.”

He said that if people have kept their distance and worn their masks, it should have been a safe environment. He said they will be tracking coronavirus numbers to see if the holidays affected spread.

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