At the tail end of a tough year for retailers, Black Friday deals appeared to draw fewer shoppers into big box stores around Austin.
Early morning openings at Bed Bath & Beyond on Brodie Lane, Best Buy and Walmart on Hwy. 290, Target on West Ben White Boulevard, and Marshalls on West William Cannon Drive saw anemic turnout—perhaps driven down by the rising number of COVID-19 cases reported locally or the cold, rainy weather.
Black Friday line-spotting in Austin, TXyoutu.be
Shoppers may also have turned to online retailers, where similar deals could be found with less risk.
Black Friday, as a shopping concept, began gaining steam in the late 1980s, when retailers operating at a loss—or in the red—reported a sharp uptick in sales—moving into the black—after Thanksgiving.
It may also have derived its name from police officers in Philadelphia, who used the term to refer to the chaos that resulted when suburban shoppers came into the city for their holiday shopping in the early 1960s, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The allure of Black Friday has been waning in recent years, however, and it may be further diminished by the pandemic.
A recent survey from Accenture found that 64% of more than 1,500 respondents are less inclined to shop on Black Friday than they were a few years ago. U.S. consumers also began their holiday shopping earlier this year and plan to spend less, according to the survey.
Still, many local businesses are open, from The Austin Winery and Half Price Books to Kendra Scott and Waterloo Records.
- Austin's homeless shelters weather the holidays—and COVID ... ›
- Austin officials prepare for Thanksgiving COVID spread - austonia ›
- shop local this Black Friday in Austin - austonia ›
- When to shop during the holiday season in Austin - austonia ›
Designs for stations along Project Connect’s Blue Line were presented this week, giving a detailed look at what part of the rail system extending from downtown to the airport could look like.
The planned stations that have gotten the latest focus include Waterfront, Travis Heights and Lakeshore stations past Lady Bird Lake.
At the Waterfront station, the preliminary design aims to prevent visual obstructions and save on costs. This is accomplished by a transit guideway that will lower from the bridge to a level station.
Heading onto East Riverside Drive, the light rail faces a curve requiring a slow down to about 10 miles per hour.
The Travis Heights station could involve relocating a pedestrian crosswalk zone at Alameda Drive to Blunn Creek. Since light rails can't effectively operate on a steep grade, this allows the transit guideway to avoid that.
From there, the rail will extend to the Norwood Park area, and though it will reach along the right-of-way zone, the park will be able to remain open.
A view of the Blue Line by Lady Bird Lake. (Project Connect)
The line involves some coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation. That's because the department is working on an intersection that will have to be built before the phasing of the section of the Blue Line involving an I-35 crossing.
When it comes to the safety of cyclists and walkers, design ideas include a pedestrian hybrid beacon by East Bouldin Creek that would provide a protected signal to cross. And for the intersection TxDOT is carrying out, Project Connect is working with them on pedestrian access across the intersection. It could involve shared use paths along the street and crossings beneath it.
This summer, the public can expect 30% of design and cost estimates to be released. Though the project was $7.1 billion when voters approved it in November 2020, the latest estimates factoring in inflation and supply chain constraints show it could ultimately be upwards of $10 billion.
- Austin faces rocky road in hiking taxes for Project Connect - austonia ›
- City launches $65M in Project Connect anti-displacement plan ... ›
- CapMetro CEO switches to role in D.C. as Project Connect moves ... ›
- Project Connect doubles cost of Orange, Blue lines - austonia ›
- With Project Connect in the works, what place do EVs serve ... ›
- 5 ways Project Connect is moving forward in Austin - austonia ›
- Federal Transit Administration awards $750K for Project Connect ... ›
- Project Connect begins scoping phase, officially hitting the road ... ›
- Austonia answers: How feasible is the $7.1B Project Connect price ... ›
- The pros and cons of Austin's $7.1B transit plan Project Connect ›
Plans for an Amazon warehouse in Round Rock—a $250 million project slated to be a large distribution center—are on hold.
This comes just after the tech giant had its worst financial quarter in seven years.
- Late last year, it announced an expansion at the Domain adding 2,000 more corporate and tech jobs.
- Amazon still owns the site in Round Rock. Plans for it are unclear.
- Early this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is aiming to scrap warehouse space as it faces a slowdown in its e-commerce operations.
Part of that effort involves exploring the possibility of ending or renegotiating leases with outside warehouse owners. Another aspect is a plan to sublease warehouse space.
“It allows us to relieve the financial obligations associated with an existing building that no longer meets our needs,” an Amazon spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. “Subleasing is something many established corporations do to help manage their real estate portfolio.”
- Amazon bringing 2000 jobs to Domain as part of latest expansion ›
- Amazon plans to build distribution center in San Marcos - austonia ›
- 7 tech companies with big Austin ties make LinkedIn's 50 Top ... ›
- How 6 Austin big tech companies are returning to the office - austonia ›
- The typical compensation for a Big Tech worker in Austin - austonia ›
- 9 Prime Day deals for those living in Austin, TX - austonia ›
- Living on $15/hour in Austin: Here's how it can be done ›