Tag Archives: black friday

Queens Center to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY MICHAEL SHAIN

No time for a second piece of pie at Thanksgiving this year.

For the first time, Queens Center is going to open at 6 p.m. the night of Thanksgiving, following a trend to start Black Friday earlier every year.

The move is prompted by the announcement this week that JCPenney and Macy’s are joining stores like Kmart and Walmart in being open on Thanksgiving night — getting a six-hour jump on the competition to start their first, big holiday sales.

“We always opened at midnight” for those stores that wanted to get the bargain rush going in the first hours of Black Friday, said John Scaturro, head of marketing for the Elmhurst mall. “But with stores like Sears opening early, now the big players are following suit.”

And since the two biggest stores in the mall are opening early, the owner of the mall, Macerich Co., has offered the chance to all the stores in the mall to open at 6 p.m. too.

“We project that 70 to 80 percent of our stores will elect to open Thanksgiving night,” Scaturro said. “Nobody is going to want to be closed in those first few hours.”

In the retail trade, the trend is being called “Black Friday creep,” a process that began more than a decade ago when big-box stores tested the idea of boosting sales by offering extraordinary bargains to die-hard shoppers willing to come to the stores at midnight.

Black Friday is the term used by retailers for the day after Thanksgiving — when people are off from work and the holiday shopping season officially began (and merchants could count on ending the day in the black).

But what started out as an experiment has taken off. Retailers — who have a bunch of bad years since economic crisis of 2007-8 — discovered shoppers have had enough football and family by nightfall on Thanksgiving and are itching to get out of the house.

“People always seem to be in very good spirits when they shop on those days. The truth is that, on Black Friday, we notice a lot of folks shopping for themselves — not for Christmas especially,” Scaturro said.

“Fall and winter clothes are the big items,” he said. “Shoe stores do very well on those days — and shoes are not something people buy for holiday shopping.”

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Queens residents get jump on Black Friday with Thursday shopping


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Red sales tags were everywhere on Thursday ahead of Black Friday.

After thousands of Queens residents stuffed their faces with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, they went to grab doorbuster deals from retailers around the borough.

Black Friday, which has become one of the most successful shopping days for stores nationwide, now starts on Thanksgiving Day and customers had no problem with that.

“The stressful part is actually the waiting,” said Brian Astacio, a Ridgewood resident. Astacio waited three hours in line for the Best Buy in Queens Place mall to open at 6 p.m. to buy electronics and a big-screen TV.

“It’s good in a way because you get things you always wanted for cheap,” he added.

For the first time ever Macy’s, one of the country’s largest and oldest department chains, opened on Thanksgiving day at 8 p.m.

The line for the retailer stretched to more than 200 people about 20 minutes before it was about to open in Queens Center Mall, and that was just on the first floor entrance. Another line with hundreds of shoppers waited near the doors on the second floor.

“It’s become more of a culture thing,” said Maspeth resident Maryam Wasef, who was first in line at the Macy’s. “It’s interesting, because its the only time of the year you could get everything and everyone just saves for it.”

Wasef said she was on the hunt for perfume and a jacket, or anything else that may have a great discount.

Around the Rego Park Center mall consumers were exiting with large bags from stores such as Toys“R”Us and Kohl’s.

But there isn’t a little Black Friday without a little craziness.

Some customers complained about the pushing and shoving from fellow shoppers and about people who brought young children out for the evening.

“Just rudeness. It’s chaos,” said Forest Hills resident Farrah Krenek.

The shopping continues today, as many stores will still be serving their deals from last night, followed by more discounts for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, the online shopping bonanza.

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Cyber Monday: Avoid crowds with a click


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo screenshot/amazon.com

Those with an aversion to crowds and lines are opting to stay home and score deals with a simple mouse click.

Cyber Monday, coined in the mid-00s, quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days for retailers, offering the option of avoiding the angry mobs that grow outside of stores just hours after finishing their Thanksgiving meals.

According to published reports, 39 percent of the population plans to spend less than $100 on Cyber Monday, while 54 percent of adults expect to drop between $100 and $500. Only a small six percent of people said they would spend somewhere above $500.

Cyber Monday’s familiarity among the population is also on the rise. Sixty one percent of adults report they know what Cyber Monday is, up from 48 percent who said the same in a 2011 survey. Only 28 percent of the population said they did not know about Cyber Monday, with 12 percent remaining unsure.

According to Forbes, clothing is the top item purchased on Cyber Monday.

A manager at the Barnes and Noble store in Bayside said last week that while an increasing number of people are opting to shop online instead of braving crazy crowds, there would still be a line outside the store before opening hours.

“I do expect people to shop online more because of the convenience,” said the manager. “But I do still expect to see a crowd over the weekend.”

The manager said she did not think deals in the store would differ from deals online.

Some struggling under tough economic times have decided to forgo deal diving, regardless of its online ease.

“No, I’m not going shopping on Cyber Monday because I don’t have enough money,” said Gail Johnson from Bayside.

“Even though you get better deals on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.”

-Additional reporting by Melissa Mott

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT of the DAY: Selections from “The Nutcracker” with the Ohman School of Ballet

Come to the Queens Library in Flushing for excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker,” performed in full costume by the Ohman School of Ballet. Dances that will be performed include “Marzipan,” “The Sugarplum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Mechanical Soldier” and more. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Lowlife pigs robbed kids’ banks in Breezy Point

Sandy spared their children’s piggy banks. But some heartless crook did not. A Breezy Point, Queens, family still reeling from the superstorm returned home after Thanksgiving to find their ravaged bungalow ransacked. Read more: New York Daily News

Bronx man charged in Queens woman’s death

Police have charged a Bronx man with murder in connection to the death of a 22-year-old Queens woman who was unconscious in a parked car. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Damaged vacation homes not eligible for FEMA grants

Superstorm Sandy delivered the injury. Now comes the insult. Summer home owners, common in beach communities like the Rockaways, may be financially wiped out if they didn’t spring for pricey flood insurance because FEMA provides grants only for primary residences. Read more: New York Daily News

Cyber Monday likely to be busiest online sales day

Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. Read more: ABC New York

FEMA approves aver $664 million for Sandy recovery in New York state

The Federal Emergency Management Agency as of Sunday had approved more than $664 million to help New York state residents recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

LIRR, PATH and ferry service added

It’s getting a little easier to get to work in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox New York

Consumers to spend less if middle-class taxes rise: White House

A White House report says that if that Congress allows taxes to go up on middle-class families, consumers will spend $200 billion less in 2013. Read more: Reuters

Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Steinway Street Swarmed by Shoppers on Black Friday


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis

Shoppers swarmed Steinway Street on November 25, searching to save some green on the “blackest” day of the year.

Black Friday took Astoria by storm, as hundreds of residents shopped at stores along one of the neighborhood’s premier streets. Among the shops that offered significant savings were P.C. Richard & Son, GameStop, Gap, Express, Foot Locker and Modell’s.  

“I think all the stores are doing really well this year,” said Renee Borys, who was shopping for clothes and toys for her nephews. “I’m very impressed with the deals. Hopefully I’ll save money today. I couldn’t get up really early this morning. I work in the city and I went to the Toys “R” Us in Times Square last night and it was crazy. It took two and a half hours to get into the electronics section. Black Friday on Steinway Street is way better, and Queens overall is better than the city.”

For some shoppers, Black Friday signals the start to “the most wonderful time of the year.”

“I’m hoping to get good deals here today,” said Martha Jacome, a resident of Ridgewood. “I love the excitement of Black Friday. For me, it means the beginning of Christmas.”

Others were unimpressed with the discount opportunities – treating one of the busiest shopping days of the year as if it were any other Friday.

“I don’t buy into this whole Black Friday thing – it is too crazy,” said Atlas Kalmeta, who was visiting P.C. Richard & Son to purchase touch-up paint. “Peoples’ priorities are all wrong. The commercialism is ridiculous. People are willing to kill each other for electronics. It is not a priority for me.”

Black Friday at The Shops at Atlas Park


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0229w

Shoppers on Black Friday expect big bargains – and bigger crowds.  At Glendale’s Shops at Atlas Park shoppers found sales minus the crowds.

Many of the Park’s stores opened their doors early – Jos. A. Bank opened at 5 a.m. – offering big savings.

“I came out because I figured some stores were having good sales and I knew the crowd wouldn’t be crazy,” said Ridgewood resident Lucinda Williams.

Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, Dresses & Denim, J. Jill, Jos. A. Bank, Maidenform and The Fair held Black Friday sales worth up to 50 percent off.

“I like to get my holiday shopping out of the way early,” said Margaret Paulsen of Middle Village.  “There were just a couple of things I wanted to grab and I wanted to beat the mobs.”

The shopping center, which opened on Cooper Avenue in 2006, allowed shoppers to skip the long lines often associated with the biggest shopping day of the year.

“I never go shopping on Black Friday. It’s not worth the hassle,” said Glendale resident Tori Scott.  “But there are no crowds [at Atlas Park], so it’s not a typical Black Friday experience.”

Hundreds rush Queens Center mall for Black Friday shopping


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan.

There’s no time to nap for Fahad Azad.

The Black Friday shopper told The Courier he had been awake since 5 a.m., but still plans on spending the entire day hunting down good deals.

“We want to buy things,” he said. “This is the only day that we can get a big sale and where people can buy a lot of stuff. The electronic sales are way too good.

“These long lines are tiring, but it’s worth it,” he said, adding that he has already saved close to $100.

Like Azad, hundreds of eager, ambitious shoppers busted down the doors of Queens Center mall on Friday, November 25 at midnight with one thing in mind — sales, sales, sales.

“If you’re doing your entire Christmas shopping, and you’re spending close to a thousand dollars for the family, it’s definitely worth it to come out,” said Steven Steinerman.

He happily waited on an entire store-length long line to purchase a basketball on sale for $10, while his wife, Esther, took advantage of the “33 percent off any team item deal” at Modell’s.

“The long lines are a little bit inconvenient, but we’ll live through it,” Esther said. “The weather is nice, and I didn’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning to get a good deal.”

 

Thanksgiving Weekend Mass Transit Schedules


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, mass transit will be running special schedules between Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 27 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

MTA

Trains and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving.  On Black Friday, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions.  There will be less service, especially during rush hour and no Limited Stop service on the Q6, Q25 and Q65.  For more information visit www.mta.info

Long Island Rail Road

Additional trains will operate today, Wednesday, November 23, and on Thanksgiving.  There will be nine extra trains today departing Penn Station between 2:10 and 3:48 p.m.

Twenty-two extra trains have been added on Thanksgiving for those attending the Parade or visiting their families – including nine extra westbound and 13 extra eastbound trains. The extra east bound trains will depart Penn Station between 11:33 a.m. and 2:03 p.m.  Cars will also be added to select trains to accommodate holiday travelers.  Off-peak fares will be in effect for the entire weekend.  For more information visit www.mta.info/lirr

Metro-North Railroad

Extra trains on will begin departing Grand Central at 1 p.m. today.  During the evening peak several trains will be combined or eliminated due to decreased ridership.  On Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will operate a holiday schedule with extra morning inbound service for those going to see the Macy’s Parade.  There will also be extra late morning and early afternoon outbound service.

On Black Friday, Metro-North will operate a Saturday schedule with extra service during the morning and evening peaks. Off-peak fares will be in effect for the entire four-day holiday weekend.  For more information visit http://www.mta.info/mnr/