A drive through the Ashtabula Township Walmart provided a different view of the landscape from Thanksgivings past.
Instead of hundreds of “happy” Christmas shoppers dashing to buy the next large-screen television, there was one vehicle in the store’s massive parking lot. An Ashtabula County sheriff’s cruiser was in the parking lot where things are expected to be busier as Black Friday kicks off the Christmas shopping season at 5 a.m.
Most major retail stores decided to keep the doors closed on Thanksgiving after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the same decision last year, allowing workers a day off.
While Walmart, Ashtabula Towne Square and other large retailers shut their doors, many area “dollar” stores, convenience stores and a few restaurants were open for business.
Shoppers could be seen filling their vehicles with food and other items and the parking lot of Bob Evans was packed as one of the few restaurants open.
The Black Friday experience has changed for many people who now order online, but there are many who enjoy getting up early and treat it as a tradition.
One of the few stores open in Ashtabula had a pretty normal day of business on Thursday, said a BB’s clerk.
“It has been steady,” the clerk said.