Long lines, wait times: New norm for holiday shopping

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans have already started their Christmas shopping. With restrictions in place until further notice, it looks like long lines and wait times will be the norm this holiday season.

It was a long wait Monday night at the Best Buy off Eubank and I-40. “You have to wait 20 minutes or 30 minutes just to get one item,” shopper Socoro Duran said. “It’s crazy man.”

Dozens of cars lined up all the way back to the street and looped around Best Buy’s parking lot to pick up their curbside orders. “It is a big line, but it is actually moving pretty good,” shopper Jerry Ulibarri said. “We didn’t think we would have to wait in line,” shopper Odalys Olivas added.

Places like Best Buy are closed to shopping in-person right now. “It doesn’t bother me,” shopper Chris Hulbert said. “It means I don’t have to go in and deal with other people so it works out well.”

However, when Bernalillo County moves into the red level in the state’s color-coded reopening plan Wednesday, stores like Best Buy will be allowed to let people back inside at reduced capacity. Only 25% of the maximum occupancy will be allowed or 75 customers at a time, whichever is smaller. “Personally, I don’t like it,” Duran said. “I don’t like what 2020 has become. I mean, I guess this is something that is a part of 2020. I mean, I want it to be over. I am pretty sure everyone else does. I am just going to keep it online after this.”

Customers are anticipating restrictions of some sort all throughout holiday shopping and said they are making their plans ahead. “It is just the local stuff I have to order online first instead of going in and picking it up at the last minute,” Hulbert said.

“We are probably going to take longer with this curbside pickup because everything has to be ordered now,” Olivas added. While the yellow and green categories allow for more capacity inside stores, some shoppers say they are doubtful we will move up on the color system anytime soon.

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