With only one day left until the Christmas holidays, shoppers across the country are on their way to local malls in droves – brave COVID-19 pandemic risks and refrain from social distance to chase gifts at the last minute.
In California, Democratic Gavin Newsom’s second home order has been met with even more opposition than before – both from residents as well as small businesses struggling to make ends meet.
Livermore’s San Francisco Premium Outlets in the Bay Area were full, according to Twitter users. NBC Bay Area footage showed lines of people sneaking around parking lots.
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According to orders in Alameda County, retail and shopping centers are allowed to operate with a limited capacity, according to SF Gate. Restaurants, bars and personal care are closed when cases are pending.
Just half an hour away, Walnut Creek shoppers filled Broadway Plaza despite waiting times where some stores only allowed one or two customers inside at a time.
In San Diego – where ICU beds have almost 80% capacity – mall staff told NBC7 that the weekend felt “five times busier” than last.
Up the coast in Portland, Ore., Mall managers reported witnessing similar scenes in Clackama’s Town Center.
The East Coast was no exception, with shops still busy after “Super Saturday” – the Saturday before Christmas – in states such as Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida.
While online sales in 2020 have hit record highs – Adobe predicts $ 189 billion this season – as Americans shop from home, delayed deliveries due to U.S. Postal Service issues have thrown a wrench into carefully planned gift exchanges.
Millions of packages are likely to be late this year as the organization juggles coronavirus vaccine distribution, Georgia Senate runoff choices, stimulus control and medication in addition to the influx of the holiday season and regular mail.
It has been a tough year for the USPS, which received $ 10 billion from the US Treasury Department to continue operations.
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That said, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that personal shopping in crowded stores is considered a high-risk activity.
According to the National Retail Federation, 150 million Americans said they planned to shop at Super Saturday alone, up from 148 million in 2019.