Tri-Cities small businesses begin Black Friday sales days ahead to tailor to social distancing measures

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(WJHL) — Black Friday is a week from tomorrow, but how will it look during the current pandemic?

News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun spoke with small businesses in the Tri-Cities and learned how they are preparing.

Black Friday shopping is almost like a tradition for many families, after going back for seconds and thirds on Thanksgiving Day.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are thinking ahead and starting its own sale a week before the shopping frenzy.

Local businesses are gearing up for a tradition with extra precautions due to coronavirus.

Mountain Sports Limited equipment specialist Laura Larue said: “In order to keep numbers down from crowds being in the store, they are offering a pre-Black Friday sale, where customers can come and enjoy what would normally be our Black Friday sales.”

For the first time in its 39-year history, Mountain Sports Limited, located in Bristol, Virginia, is gearing up for its first Pre-Black Friday sale.

“Something else we are doing this year, if customers want to call ahead, we offer a call-by-appointment shopping experience so, for people who are maybe immune-compromised,” Larue said.

Shoppers get extra perks if they shop in person.

“To kind of combat online sales, we are offering a little bit more in the end of customer service,” Larue said.

Deals and other pre-Black Friday sale updates can be found on Mountain Sports Ltd.’s Facebook page, here. The sale began Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Mauk’s of Jonesborough is also preparing for changes and trying to entice people to support local shops during the pandemic.

“We do work hard and everybody wants everybody to come see their little town. If you don’t shop here and support it, we’re not going to have a little town, so we need everybody to support the town. Even if you buy $5, you are supporting the town,” Mauk’s of Jonesborough clerk Mary Ann told Kassahun.

Clark said the popular Jonesborough store even has a Norwegian chair, “Stressless”, geared towards those who work from home.

“After people have been staying home so long, they realized they needed a comfortable chair to sit in and working from home. They need the office chairs. We’ve been able to meet that need,” Clark said. “They’ve all got lumbar which we all need when we sit, so it’ll support your back, it’ll support your neck. You can actually get some relief if you’ve got back pains, neck pains, and they are endorsed by the National Chiropractic Association. They will be $300 off, with a $50 contribution to the Salvation Army.”

More deals from Mauk’s of Jonesborough can be found on its Instagram page, here.

During the holiday season the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City, Jonesborough, and Washington County, Tennessee is also promoting its “Buy different, Buy early, Buy local” campaign, to help businesses bounce back from the economic shutdown. this begins Saturday, November 28.

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