Stores kick off Black Friday but pandemic woes linger

BLACK FRIDAY shoppers, wearing face masks, carry bags at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, Calif., on Friday. AP PHOTO/RINGO H.W. CHIU
NEW YORK (AP) – Retailers are expected to usher in the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season Friday with bigger crowds than last year in a closer step toward normalcy. But the fallout from the pandemic continues to weigh on businesses and shoppers' minds. Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings,…

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