ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a revival year for New Mexico restaurants and retailers, who were forced to close last Thanksgiving during a two-week pandemic ‘reset.’ On Thanksgiving day, people said it felt good to be closer to normal and do some early in-person holiday shopping.
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Black Friday is back. At Cabela’s, shoppers got an early start on Thanksgiving Day.
“I usually go Black Friday shopping, I actually like to do that. But, this year, I wasn’t really planning on it but I found a deal so I decided to come,” said Diana Provencio, a Thanksgiving Day shopper in Albuquerque.
“We’re going to look for a couple things. We don’t need anything special but we love this store, so that’s why we are here,” said Gabby Vasquez, another Thanksgiving day shopper in Albuquerque.
Cabela’s was one of the few major retailers open on Thanksgiving day. KRQE didn’t see any lines but did see a steady flow of shoppers happy to be back and snag some deals. “We prefer to go to the store and see the things, feel the things, it’s different,” said Vasquez.
On Thanksgiving, parking lots were empty, looking similar to how the town looked last Thanksgiving when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham mandated a two-week ‘reset’ to help curb then soaring Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Unlike pre-pandemic years, many big box stores like Walmart, Target, Khols, and Best Buy stayed closed on Thanksgiving. “I was surprised they opened because it seems like a lot of stores are going back to original Black Friday. They’re just open on Friday, not on Thanksgiving,” said Provencio.
“I think tomorrow is going to be busier. So, that’s why we are here. We want to avoid lines,” said Vasquez.
Even with stores opening on Black Friday, experts still expect online sales to outpace in-store sales this holiday season, according to NerdWallet.
While many stores are moving away from being open on Thanksgiving Day, they’re also moving away from opening at midnight on Friday morning. Most big stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Best Buy open between 5 a.m.-7 a.m. Friday.
Between online and in-store sales, holiday sales this year are expected to soar. The National Retail Federation predicts 2021 holiday sales could rise more than 10% from last year.