STATEWIDE — Last year, Thanksgiving weekend drew in almost 190 million United States shoppers for the deals of the year — while 124 million of them specifically shopped in store on Black Friday.
“It’s a kickoff for people for the Christmas season for many,” said Rick Vigue, co-owner of Rebecca’s in downtown Bangor.
The busiest shopping excursion of the year will be stretched out as businesses try to accommodate the restrictions on capacity — but a shortage of customers isn’t the only worry.
“We’ve been advising people for the last couple to three weeks, when you see something you want, it’s a good time to purchase it early because stores are having a hard time getting replenishment of products,” Vigue said.
And as another wave of COVID-19 is crashing down, the possibility of more restrictions lingers in the unknown.
“Stores might run out of stuff, stores might have to close, closing early, different hours,” he said. “We’ve been getting calls about our hours this Christmas. Are we going to cut back or expand? Everything’s been pretty much up in the air,” Vigue said.
The other popular option for this time of year is online shopping and the U.S. Postal Service is gearing for what they call “their season.”
“It’s not our first Christmas, it’s not our first holiday and we are ready for it. We are flexing our resources and putting the manpower in place were it needs to be, and the equipment in place to make sure everything can get where it needs to get on time,” said Steve Doherty, strategic communications specialist for the USPS.
Keep in mind there are deadlines for customers as well. It just depends on how close shoppers want to cut it.
“Anything you’re sending first class mail you’re gonna want to get it out by the 18th to make sure it gets there by Christmas Eve. If your sending something priority express mail you can actually send it as late as the 23rd and still get there”
Stay safe. Enjoy the holiday shopping experience and remember the early bird will get the worm.