By Kristina Rex

BOSTON (CBS) – Remember the mad dash to get a TV on sale or fighting your line neighbor for an item on Black Friday?

Well this year, there won’t be much of that.

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“Customers don’t want to touch things anymore,” said retail expert Ken Morris. “They’re afraid to gather.”

In any other year, shopping malls like the South Shore Plaza in Braintree would open their doors at midnight on Black Friday. But of course, 2020 is unlike any other year.

Most stores will open at 5 a.m. at the earliest on Black Friday. Still, many customers will not want to shop in person.

“They’re not going to see me,” Sonya Jones of Dorchester said. “I am not going near the stores, too many people.”

And that’s something big name stores that typically rely on Black Friday have to prepare for.

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Instead, this year, sales are stretched out over a few weeks, and the way we show has changed.

“You can buy online and pick up at store, so you don’t have to fight the crowds,” said Morris.

Morris also says studies show that for those who do plan to shop this Black Friday, many plan to support local businesses rather than big brands.

“They’re going out of the business like crazy,” Morris said of local businesses. “People say a quarter of the businesses if this pandemic goes as long as we believe it will go under.”

Many small shops have added options like curbside pickup, and while Black Friday 2020 may not match other years, Morris thinks the shopping holiday will be back as soon as it’s safe.

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“I think people love the theater of shopping,” said Morris. “They like that madness.”

Kristina Rex