Shoppers camp out in Alabaster for new gaming systems

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Shoppers wait in line to pay for their purchases at a Walmart store in Los Angeles, California on November 24, 2009, a few days before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which kicks off the holiday shopping season. Retailers are hoping doorbuster deals will stimulate sales despite the weak economy. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Alabaster, Ala. (WIAT) — Many people will be online shopping this year because of the pandemic, but some are still shopping in person.

Some are even camping out for a spot in line.

Several people out in Alabaster are camping outside the store waiting to buy the next-generation consoles PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series.

Most of which had masks on and were socially distancing as best as they could.

Since the systems are selling out fast online, some people think shopping in person is the only way they can get the new gaming system.

Gamer Brannen Earnest says he plans to wait it out and be safe at the same time.

“I mean, as long as you can be smart, and be considerate of others around you and take measures to keep yourself safe, I feel you still need to get out and do what you need to do,” Earnest said.

Earnest says he arrived at the store around 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

“I’ve got a nice little beach chair back there. It reclines and everything,” Earnest said.

Earnest says he enjoys playing video games with his friends.

“It’s been something like as we’ve been moving off to college and gone our separate ways, it’s been a way to keep us together. So, it’s worth sitting out here.”

Other gamers like AJ Crawford and Jerry Jackson say they aren’t shocked people are camping out this year for the new gaming systems.

“Hey, we are all here for the same reason. Just trying to have a good time and forget about things like the pandemic,” Crawford said.

“It just brings us together online. Even though we can’t by physical, we are just online together,” Jackson said.

Though it seems crazy for people to camp outside a store in the cold and while cases of the virus are rising, Earnest says by camping out, holiday shopping this year feels somewhat normal.

“A lot of it is just a wing and a prayer. But the experience, being out here and meeting new people. We’ve been relaxing all day. It’s been really cool,” Earnest said.

GameStop in Alabaster opens at 7 a.m. Friday morning.


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