MIAMI – Despite the risks of the coronavirus outbreak and the threat of a deep recession, retailers in South Florida are offering store-only deals to tempt bargain hunters during the holiday shopping season.
Brandsmart U.S.A. in Miami Gardens will open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Rudy Cortez, of Brandsmart U.S.A., said this year they are spreading out deals to avoid large crowds.
“The longer period of time that we can give deals, we can spread out the crowds ... instead of having everyone come in on one day,” Cortez said, adding they also have more security.
Dolphin Mall’s outlet stores in Sweetwater will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Both locations require social distancing and face masks.
Aside from the risk of infection, Officer Jonathan Arche, a spokesman for the Sweetwater Police Department, said shoppers also need to be concerned about lurking thieves. There are many robbers looking for “crimes of opportunity” at malls’ parking lots during the holiday shopping season in South Florida.
“Make sure you keep your personal belongings close to you,” Arche said, adding women need to make sure their purses’ zippers are closed and they are holding it in front of them.
The gloomier expectations will likely affect consumer consumption this season. A rise in coronavirus infections could likely result in more layoffs if officials decide to impose limits on vulnerable businesses. About 9.1 million people who are unemployed face an expiration of benefits this December.
CORONAVIRUS SAFETY TIPS
Here are some precautions to help you celebrate Thanksgiving safely:
- Celebrate at home with the people you live with and host a virtual gathering.
- If you decide to risk hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, do it outside, limit the number of guests, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use. Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils. Limit the number of people in food preparation areas, have one person who is wearing protection serve food, or have guests bring their own food and drink.
- If you decide to attend a gathering, bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils. Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled. Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer. Stay at least 6 feet apart, or about two arm lengths, from anyone who does not live with you.
- When you are around people you don’t live with, wear a face mask with two or more layers over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others such as by leaving them on the porch.