Waterloo Region stores adjusting to restrictions for Black Friday sales
It's not quite business as usual once again for many Waterloo Region stores offering Black Friday sales this year.
What is now one of the busiest shopping days of the year in Canada has been dampened for a second year in a row by COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
Chris Brown, the sales manager at Best Buy on Fairway Road in Kitchener, says that, while the Black Friday crowds aren't quite as big as they were pre-pandemic, there were still some people lined up outside as early as 5:30 a.m.
To avoid overcrowding, he adds that they started their sales about two weeks earlier.
"We brought our sales forward so to not have everyone rush in on one busy day," said Brown. "We also have two day shipping across most of Canada. We also do contactless as well, order online and we bring it right to your car in the parking lot."
Capacity limits for the electronic store are still in place at about 80 per cent, which equals out to roughly 150 customers at a time.
However, the store is working at full capacity with around 130 staff members on the floor.
For Melissa Crane and many shoppers there, the deals are worth it, as she picked up a computer monitor for her son.
"About 50 bucks off, so that's good with me," she said. "I didn't wait very long for someone to come out to me. They were pretty quick."
Sales that have been pushed forward will still be on at the Fairway Road Best Buy until Monday night.
For other stores like Gibson Sound & vision, shipping prices to get supplies have gone up for them, likely due to supply chain issues.
General Manager Stuart Gibson says they try to absorb the cost themselves as much as they can to stay competitive and keep customers coming.
"It's anywhere from $5-25 a box," he said. "It cost us a little bit more to do business because our suppliers say it sells for $999, and even though costs have gone up a little bit we still sell it for $999."