COVID-19 pandemic doesn't stop shoppers from lining up early for Black Friday deals in Ottawa
OTTAWA -- Shoppers lined up early looking for Black Friday deals at stores across the City of Ottawa.
At Tanger Outlets, long lines formed outside several stores before the 7 a.m. opening. With stores offering up to 70 per cent off merchandise, some shoppers told CTV News Ottawa they were waiting more than an hour to enter a store.
And while we are in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers said they felt safe inside the stores on Black Friday.
"Everyone's practicing the rules, they were handing out hand sanitizers when you walk in the stores," said one customer.
"They're doing quite well with distancing people and the masks, and just letting so much in, You feel comfortable," said another customer.
"We went into Lululemon, and they clean everything after everyone walks into the change rooms," said a customer walking through Tanger Outlets with their mask on.
Both the Rideau Centre and Bayshore Shopping Centre opened at 8 a.m.
St. Laurent Centre opened an hour earlier than usual at 9 a.m. Carlingwood Shopping Centre opened at its usual time of 10 a.m., but will stay open an hour later until 8 p.m.
Here is a look at the operating hours for malls on Black Friday:
Bayshore Shopping Centre: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Carlingwood Shopping Centre: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Place d'Orleans: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rideau Centre: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
St. Laurent Centre: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tanger Outlets: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Walmart Canada says its stores in Ottawa will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.
Best Buy locations will open an hour earlier than normal at 9 a.m.
A recent survey by Shopify found 97 per cent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers in Canada expect to make at least one purchase online.
"Black Friday continues to be one of the biggest shopping moments of the year. While we see the shift away from just a four day shopping weekend like we have coming up to a more extended shopping season," said Loren Padelford, General Manager of Shopify Plus.
"Fifty per cent of Canadians expect to do some form of shopping during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend," said Padelford, noting that's up from 46 per cent in 2019.
"So the pandemic has definitely not slowed down people's desires to go out and find that perfect gift."
Shopify supports local Ottawa businesses with their online platform.
"Shopify is powering the independent local direct to consumer brands that are behind this crazy Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period," said Padelford.
"With 97 per cent of us saying we're going to shop online, we're encouraging the consumers in the world to go out and find those local retailers."
You can find local retailers through the Shopify's "Shop app," available on the Apple Apps store and the Google Play store. The app has a "Gift Better Guide", with 150 hand-selected local retailers you can shop from with the help of Shopify.
Padelford says you can also Google what you are looking for.
"You can use Google and say 'Google', the product you're looking for, plus your city or even the product you're looking for plus Shopify, and it will start to identify local retailers you can start shopping from."