Black Friday offers beacon of hope to struggling stores

By ANNE D''INNOCENZIO AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their holiday spending.

But these are not normal times.

The economy is tanking and crowds are expected to be dramatically diminished as coronavirus cases spike and shoppers do more of their purchases online.

Many retailers are beefing up their safety protocols, moving their doorbuster deals online and curbside pickup options as a last grasp at sales before the year ends and they head into the dark days of winter with the pandemic still raging.

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