We visited two Walmart stores in New York and California on Black Friday morning to find relatively empty aisles.
In New York, customers bought electronics and toys while the rest of the store was quiet.
In California, most customers also stuck with the electronics and vacation sections.
We went to two Walmart locations on opposite sides of the country to see what Black Friday shopping was like this year.
To our surprise, both Walmart in Rochester, New York and Irvine, California saw similarly low foot traffic and most shoppers flocked to electronics…
…and just a handful of people lingering in the kids’ toy and holiday sections.
Walmart saw supply chain improvements this year after low inventory during the 2021 holiday season, Walmart US CEO John Furner said on a November earnings call.
But when we arrived just after 9 a.m. on Black Friday, the Walmart parking lot in New York looked pretty empty.
Walking in, we didn’t see many shoppers, but there was security near the gate.
We bypassed the main supermarket area, which was empty and didn’t seem to have holiday specials.
At first glance, the clothing sections also seemed pretty empty of customers.
We finally started to see other shoppers around children’s clothing.
The bins in the center of the aisles seemed to have some of the hottest deals, advertising “while supplies last.”
These were mostly less expensive items than the typical Black Friday electronics deals.
Many of the deals were on bedding, pillows, and other home décor.
While the housewares sales didn’t seem to have many buyers, the toy section was much busier.
The toy shelves were well stocked.
The doll and stuffed animal aisles weren’t especially busy, but they were definitely one of the busiest areas of the store.
The busiest area, by far, was the electronics section.
There were some deals on TVs and video games.
Customers browsed through stacks of discounted games and DVDs while workers restocked.
Headphones and phone accessories also seemed popular due to the cluttered displays.
Other than toys and electronics, I wouldn’t have known there was some kind of holiday or promotion going on.
Meanwhile, the Walmart in Irvine, California, looked about the same.
At around 7:30 am, about 1.5 hours after opening, early risers had taken over all the parking spots near the immediate vicinity of this Walmart.
But about 15-20 rows back, there were still plenty of open parking spaces.
Inside, there were no angry shoppers fighting over the latest gaming system or discount clothing.
Instead, the store was surprisingly quiet.
The grocery section was mostly empty, mostly occupied by employees restocking inventory.
And only a few buyers filtered into the clothing and housewares sections.
Like Walmart in New York, bins centered along the wide aisles contained many of the prominently promoted Black Friday deals on products like bedding, toys, and housewares.
Several buyers were interested in the bin deals on bedding sets…
…with one person who keeps most discount TV wall mounts.
But aside from this customer, most of the shopping carts around the Walmart in Irvine, California, weren’t filled with discount items.
In addition to the bins, most customers flocked to the Christmas decorations and rear electronics sections…
…although these parts of the store were still far from crowded as well.
Overall, it seemed like any other day at Walmart: not too busy but not completely empty either.
Between the retail giant’s California and New York stores, it seems the era of Walmart’s Black Friday extravaganza shopping is over.
The sight of frenzied shoppers, overflowing shopping carts, and packed aisles is now a thing of the past.
Instead, it’s now less of a safety hazard…
…and more of a peaceful affair with just a handful of shoppers perusing deals on electronics, toys, and holiday décor.
Read the original article at Business Insider