The Christmas tree is up and windows are decorated — signs it’s time for holiday shopping at San Francisco’s Union Square, even in a pandemic. 

“There is definitely social distancing and mask wearing, there is a lot hand sanitizers to sanitize your hands before you in the store,” said shopper Rachel Cheng.

She and her sister decided to shop on Wednesday, instead of Black Friday.

“I would say the difference is you can’t try things on, otherwise I thought people were respectful of each other’s space,” Cheng said.

There is no ice rink, and they noticed a lighter crowd and said they felt comfortable.

“We love to participate in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday,” she said.

At Stag & Manor on Market Street, they’re ready for the holidays. 

It’s been a tough year and they understand some may want to shop from home. That’s why they have online options and in store, too. For those who haven’t come in yet, the owner offered a quick reminder of what’s in place.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure people feel comfortable so as soon as you walk in you find hand sanitizer next to the door so people can sanitize before they shop. We have floor markers on the floor to make sure people keep their distance,” said Seth Morrison. 

In Noe Valley, at Just For Fun, they look toward Small Business Saturday and while protocols have been in place, they will make a few more adjustments with merchandise.

“So there could be a lot more space but still be shoppable,” said David Eiland. “Instead of having all the Christmas crammed all together, it’s going to have to be some there, some here so people can keep their distance.”

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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