LIMA — Friday marks the start of the most unusual holiday shopping season.
Retailers have been touting deals for weeks, but people are still expected to converge on retail stores and malls. How large the crowds will be during these pandemic times is anyone’s guess.
Here are some of the stores that will be open in Lima on Black Friday and what you should expect if shopping indoors.
What’s open, when?
• Lima Mall 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Macy’s 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• JC Penney 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Kohls 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• TJ Maxx 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Hobby Lobby 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Walmart 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Dunham’s Sporting Goods 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• GameStop 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Meijer grocery stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, while the store’s pharmacies will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chief Supermarket stores will also stay open until 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day for last-minute shoppers, but Ruler Foods and Walmart will be closed for the holiday.
Is it safe to shop in-store?
The Ohio Department of Health requires all Ohio retailers to ensure employees and customers wear a mask while shopping indoors to reduce exposure to the coronavirus. And the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recently created a retail compliance unit to check on random retailers around the state in an effort to increase compliance with the public health order.
So, if you plan to shop in stores on Black Friday, make sure to bring a mask and wear it properly while indoors to protect other shoppers around you.
Retailers have upgraded their sanitation standards to ease consumer fears about shopping indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic. Shoppers can expect to see more hand sanitizer stations and more store associates in gloves or wiping down surfaces in high-traffic areas like dressing rooms, checkout counters and store shelves.
Some stores, like Macy’s, now advertise that they have improved indoor air ventilation as another safety measure, because the virus spreads primarily through the air when a person coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes—particularly in crowded indoor settings. That makes masks and social distancing all the more essential for anyone shopping in stores this holiday season.
For those who think the risk of exposure is too high, curbside pickup and home delivery are safer options now available through most retailers.