Black Friday crowds smaller, parking easier this year around SoCal

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Like so many other activities in 2020, holiday shopping is very different this year.

On Black Friday, fewer Southland stores saw the massive crowds, long lines and full parking lots of years past.

In places like Old Town Pasadena, the sidewalks were not that crowded. The Apple store, normally a popular spot for holiday shopping, was only letting people in with reservations and checking temperatures at the door.

"I can see the stores are very quiet now," said shopper Sara Sanchez. "There is no traffic, no people outside. It's very different from years before."

There were still a few crowded spots, particularly when it came to hot items like the PS5. Crowds were lined up outside the Game Stop in Pasadena.

"It's really hard to get it now," said Sam Nandar. "You cannot get your hands on it. If you're trying online, good luck."

New limits on retail businesses were announced on Friday for much of Los Angeles County, with the exceptions of Pasadena and Long Beach which maintain their own health departments.

Occupancy limits at businesses now stand at 35% for essential retail and 20% for non-essential retail like outdoor malls.

Malls say they are taking extra precautions to keep shoppers safe.

"We're expecting less crowds, but the safety of our shoppers and guests is foremost," said Steven Sayers with the Glendale Galleria.

"We have lots of hand sanitizer, lots of social distancing. We'll have occupancy limits that we'll be monitoring. We also installed hospital-grade air filters. Safety is first and foremost."
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