By John Lauritsen

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — COVID-19 had a big impact on Black Friday shopping last year, but this year shoppers seem to be heading out to stores again.

At the Mall of America, there were lines outside well before the doors the opened Friday morning. More than 200 people waited overnight to be among the first to get inside the Bloomington mall.

Across the Twin Cities, shoppers sacrificed sleep to find Xboxes and other electronics inside Best Buys and Walmarts.

“First time I’ve shopped on Black Friday,” said one teenager outside a Best Buy. “The only downside was that I had to wake up at 3:30 this morning and we’ve got a state championship for football later today for Maple Grove. So that’s going to be fun to try to stay awake.”

With the price of gifts and merchandise on the rise, the National Retail Federation predicted this would be a busy Black Friday, as shoppers look for discounts.

Grace Wachtler and Raena Bents came from Wisconsin and Chicago respectively to shop at the Mall of America. They are two contributors to what could be a record shopping year.

“This year we just wanted to go hard, a lot of deals, a lot of people walking around,” Bents said. “It’s just the Christmas spirit, you know.”

The National Retail Federation is predicting between an 8%-10% holiday sales spike over last year.

John Lauritsen