CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Retail store parking lots were empty Thursday, with no one standing in line waiting for Black Friday shopping deals.

The days of sleeping off Thanksgiving meals in tents while waiting in long lines for doorbuster deals are long gone.

“I see nothing. I’m surprised,” said Jeremy Pritchett. “Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building, today no one.”

He remembers working in retail during traditional Black Friday shopping, and it was not that long ago.

“We would get there probably around midnight, get everything set up,” Pritchett said. “We let people in early, give them donuts and coffee, you know, to try to slow down the stampede and stuff, and it was busy. But it was also one of those that it was always fun, and it’s kind of gone it looks like. “I think it’s a sign of the way the world is going. Virtual learning, virtual buying, everybody just wants to be able to sit on their couch and order what they want.”

The National Retail Federation said more than 160 million people will shop for deals online now through Cyber Monday. Pritchett said he shops online too, but standing in front of an empty store brings a sense of sadness.

“You miss that relationship. The customers that used to come in, you know, that type of stuff,” he said. “Now, just like a lot of things in the world, it’s just a transaction. No one has that interaction anymore.”