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Retail Association of Maine president talks about a Black Friday like no other

Curtis Picard said retailers have been working since summer to make sure Black Friday shopping would be safe and would follow pandemic guidelines.

MAINE, USA — Black Friday would usually be a day where people across the country bundle up and wait in lines wrapped around stores, but there’s never been a year quite like 2020. Just like the holidays, the biggest shopping day of the year looked different for everyone, including Mainers.

NEWS CENTER Maine's Rob Caldwell spoke with the president of the Retail Association of Maine, Curtis Picard, Friday afternoon about holiday and Black Friday shopping this year.

He said retailers have been working since summer to make sure Black Friday shopping would be safe and would follow pandemic guidelines.

"It seems like consumers have been hearing our message to shop early, don’t wait until today, Black Friday, to start holiday shopping, try to do it earlier than ever, try to spread out the amount of shopping you're doing," Picard said.

"We are trying to make sure we're keeping people safe, shoppers and employees, while also trying to manage economically through this challenging year."

Picard also said small, local stores need support more than ever.

“If you want to make sure those stores are around in 2021, you need to make sure that they’re being supported this year.”

Rob asked Picard if he thinks the hoopla of traditional Black Friday will die down from now on, and while Picard said curbside pickup online ordering will most likely continue, there's just something about shopping in person. 

“I think consumers like the crowds. They like the hustle and bustle. They like a little bit of snow in December when they’re shopping because it’s part of the tradition. I do hope some of this does come back when we’re beyond this and everyone is safe again."