MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach shoppers welcomed a return to more normal Black Friday shopping habits after pandemic-forced changes last year.

One shopper said this year was “a more relaxed environment” despite the crowds.

Bass Pro Shops at the Myrtle Beach Mall opened at 5 a.m. Thousands of shoppers went in and out, taking advantage of Black Friday deals.

“Long lines. Lots of people in the store,” said Dave Garland, who was shopping at the store. “Probably in line for about an hour just to get through the register.”

Other shoppers were just taking a look.

“Last year, we didn’t do a lot of shopping due to COVID,” Teresa Humphreys said. “We went to stores that had what we were specifically looking for. This year, we are out and about just window shopping and just seeing what sales items are and seeing if there are any good deals. So this year’s been more of a relaxed environment compared to last year.”

Chris Baker, the store’s manager, is in charge of making sure things go smoothly.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s all about preparation,” Baker said. “You’ve got to really communicate with your people, you got to have a game plan and you got to execute it.”

With shoppers in just about every corner of the store, Baker expects sales totals will exceed 2020’s numbers.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to see an increase over the last year, which was a really good year for us too, even during COVID,” he said.