VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Unlike in the past, when stores would open at midnight to let Black Friday shoppers inside, many big retailers decided to wait until normal hours to crack open those doors in 2021.
Long lines of people filed along sidewalks outside of Target and Best Buy in Virginia Beach Town Center.
Best Buy, one of the few big stores to open as early as 5 a.m., welcomed in a rush of people wrapped around the side of the building. The Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office had deputies at the store to help ensure security.
Despite online shopping for Black Friday increasing this year by about 20% (that's according to Adobe), many shoppers still decided to hit the brick-and-mortar shops.
“Last night, they talked me into it during Thanksgiving dinner, to come this morning to get this stuff, so you know," said one man who walked out of the Best Buy with his son, Ethan.
The father-son duo, who showed up at 4:30 in the morning to get a new computer screen, said they kept it traditional this year.
"I got half off on my monitor," said 16-year-old Ethan Zepenick.
"We've been waiting a couple months for this and they only had two of them in stock," said Ethan's dad as they held their shopping cart. "So, we made sure we were here early to get one of them."
But this family didn't beat Caira James, who showed up with her mom as early as 3 a.m.
"We like to kind of venture out sometimes on Black Friday, so we're like 'Let's just go to see if we can find a new TV' and... we got a new TV!" James said, as her mother pushed the TV into the back of their car.
Just like many others trying to nab the last computer system or LED screen, James said she and her mother got their TV for a good price. She said because so many people are doing online shopping this year and more people are hesitant to hit crowded stores because of COVID-19, she felt this year would be a good one to wake up early.
Online shopping may have already started for this month's best deals with many people pre-ordering gifts, but Cyber Monday still takes place for bargain hunters on Nov. 29.