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Black Friday shopping in Mid-Missouri slowly returns back to normal


This year, there's a different presence in downtown Columbia than there was on Black Friday amidst the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Mccormick, who works for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, says a lot more people are out shopping for Black Friday when comparing last year. However, many people are starting to rely on online shopping.

"All of our local retailers uh and small businesses they have an online presence and so we started to see a trend of people shopping online," said Mccormick.

Obi Agusiobo manager at Menards says he's also seen a change in traffic flow this Black Friday.

"Last year was uh was uh a heavy flow and a slow period and uh then another heavy flow. This year has been just a consistent flow of people". Agusiobo said.

This year there were hundreds of people at Menards grabbing their Black Friday shopping must have's, but Agusiobo says he's also noticed growth in customers shopping online.

"Online presence has grown uh uh very much. Um but we also see a lot of foot traffic in the stores." Agusiobo said.

According to Adobe Analytics, it expects U.S. holiday sales online to hit $207 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31st. This data highlights a 10% increase from last year.

Adobe Analytics is a website that provides a comprehensive view of U.S. and global e-commerce by analyzing direct consumers transactions online.

Mccormick says there's also a bigger trend now than there was in 2020 with people feeling comfortable enough to go out and shop in stores.

"Were seeing even better trends, um, people going back out... people can be physically in the stores and you take a look at the mall... it's able to have people all in it as far as walking around and people being able to be inside the stores and also downtown," said Mccormick. "This is good to see".

Although businesses are slowly recovering, the pandemic did play a huge role in customer traffic back in 2020.

"Definitely without a doubt, it affected our businesses, specifically our small businesses and locally owned businesses," said Mccormick.

According to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, it has seen a renewal in people shopping and supporting local businesses even more.

"You can still shop locally online, a lot of our stores downtown, a lot of our stores in the mall and also just throughout the community you can shop online as well," said Mccormick.

The pandemic did give us is the ability to shop locally but not in stores. Mccormick says many local stores now offer curbside pick up which is another trend that's picking up in Missouri.

Kennedy Miller


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