Tag Archives: macy’s

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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Fourth of July fireworks returning to East River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Updated 2:35 p.m.

A boom is coming back to the Queens waterfront this Independence Day.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show is returning to the East River this summer, the department store and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The country’s largest pyrotechnic July Fourth display, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges positioned on the lower East River.

“What this means, the fact that fireworks come back to the East River, means that countless more New Yorkers will now be able to enjoy what is really the greatest annual fireworks show in the country,”  de Blasio said. “From Brooklyn to western Queens to the East Side of Manhattan, many more New Yorkers will be able to take part in this celebration, in their neighborhoods, on their rooftops, along the shoreline.”

The 2009 move not only left Queens residents without a place in the borough to watch fireworks on the holiday, but hurt businesses along the East River that saw increased traffic during the festivities.

“For too long, residents of our neighborhoods have been left out of what is not only a citywide, but a national event,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris said in a statement. “Once again, the Queens waterfront will be a participant in the grandest Independence Day celebration in the United States.”

 

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Macy’s initiative to boost funds for two Queens parks


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

This month, Macy’s shoppers can spend some green to keep Queens green.

Two parks in the borough — Cunningham and Queens Botanical Garden — have been selected for the major department store’s “Heart Your Park” fundraising initiative that raises money for upkeep and improvement projects.

More than 550 parks in the nation were chosen for the program.

From March 7 to March 31, customers can make donations at three Macy’s locations in Flushing, Douglaston and Queens Center Mall.

Macy’s will match the total up to $250,000 and give the proceeds to the city’s Parks Department.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Friends of Cunningham Park President Marc Haken. “We’re constantly improving the park.”

Haken said his parks support group, which is funded through City Council and state assembly grants, has spent at least $100,000 over the last few years to maintain the Fresh Meadows park.

The much-needed help from Macy’s would go toward cleaning up hiking trails and fixing many eroded parts of the park, Haken added.

“It’s like owning a house,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do, equipment to be purchased.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 52. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Some clouds. Low 38. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: GingerBread Lane

Come to the New York Hall of Science to see GingerBread Lane, homemade gingerbread houses that took an entire year for chef Jon Lovitch to conceptualize and create. The 1.5 ton, 300-square-foot village is made entirely of edible gingerbread, royal icing and candy, is a contender for the Guinness World Record for the largest gingerbread exhibit. The exhibit also includes a behind-the-scenes window that gives a look at the makings of GingerBread Lane. Free with museum admission through January 12. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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City subpoenas Macy’s on ‘shop and frisk’

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An embarrassing mistake involving a Statue of Liberty stamp could come back to haunt the U.S. Postal Service. Read more: NBC New York

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Obama administration highlights health care website fixes

Following a roll out plagued with glitches and frustration, the Obama Administration is reporting dramatic improvements in its health care website. Read more: CBS New York/AP

 

 

 

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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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.”

Macy’s, local pols to meet about moving fireworks back to East River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

liducks fireworks2

Macy’s executives are planning on meeting with local politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., to discuss moving its Fourth of July fireworks back to the East River. The meeting was scheduled for today, but was cancelled, said Vallone.

This July 4 was the fourth year in a row that the Macy’s fireworks display was on the Hudson River, leaving nowhere in Queens to see fireworks on the holiday.

Joining Vallone will be New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron of Brooklyn. To help their case, they will present Macy’s with a petition to return the fireworks to the East River. Since it was launched on June 28, over 3,000 people have signed the petition, said Squadron spokesperson Amy Spitalnick.

Vallone has been urging the department store to return the fireworks to the East River for years, but with de Blasio and Squadron’s help, Macy’s has finally agreed to sit down and discuss the move. “The East River is the heart of New York City and the people of Queens and Brooklyn should have front row seats,” he said. “Having it here on the East River helps Queens and Brooklyn businesses.”

Though Vallone would prefer that the fireworks were on the East River each year, Macy’s is likely to agree to alternating them between the Hudson and East rivers.

 

Queens shut out, Macy’s fireworks again over Hudson River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the fourth summer in a row, there will be no Fourth of July fireworks on the East River, and no place for Queens’ residents to see them in the borough. Instead, the 36th Annual Macy’s July 4 Fireworks will again take place on the Hudson River.

Restaurants near Long Island City’s Gantry Plaza State Park, a popular spot for viewing fireworks when they were on the East River, have seen the effects of the fireworks’ relocation. Since they moved, restaurants have fewer customers on July 4. Though some report greater differences than others do.

At Riverview Restaurant & Lounge there has been a significant difference for the last three Independence Days. Located just across from Gantry Park, at 2-01 50th Avenue, it was a tradition for people to come to the restaurant and watch the fireworks, said Riverview’s event coordinator, Doris Nowillo. Whether inside or outside, people could see them because of the restaurant’s large windows.

When the fireworks were on the East River, about 200 people would come to the restaurant, but now it is less crowded than an average night, she said.

Even after three years, people still call the restaurant, not knowing that the fireworks are only on the Hudson this year. After we tell them, they hang up and don’t make a reservation, said Nowillo.

“[July 4] would triple our business,” said Mimi McKenna, a hostess at The Waterfront Crabhouse (2-03 Borden Avenue). There used to be people lined up outside waiting for a table, but for the past few years, no one has had to wait to be seated, she added.

Italian restaurant Bella Via has seen about a 20 percent drop in customers since the fireworks relocated, but still does good business on the holiday, said owner Sal Polito.

Though the restaurant no longer has as many customers from other Queens neighborhoods, as it did when the fireworks were on the East River, it’s still busier on July 4 than other nights, said Polito.

Ryan Linchow, manager of Pan-Asian fusion restaurant Shi, at 4720 Center Boulevard, just across from Gantry Park, said that since the fireworks moved his restaurant has also had a 20 percent drop in customers on the Fourth of July. But “last year was still really busy,” he added.

It’s not just local restaurants that are pushing for the fireworks to return to the East River. “If there was a petition [to bring the fireworks back to the East River], all of Long Island City would sign it,” said Nowillo of Riverview Restaurant and a 37-year L.I.C resident.

Nowillo got her wish. On June 28, State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced an online petition demanding that the fireworks return to the East River. Squadron and de Blasio, along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, will meet with Macy’s in the coming weeks to move the fireworks back to the East River in 2013.

“What we all were told was a one-year hiatus on the Hudson has now become the new norm—leaving more than half the city out of the July 4 celebration,” said de Blasio at a press conference on June 28. “We look forward to sitting down with Macy´s to find a way to bring the show back to the East River, where more New Yorkers can be a part of it.”

In early April, Squadron along with other Brooklyn and Queens politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who represents Long Island City, sent a letter to Macy’s chairman, president and CEO, Terry Lundgren, urging him to bring the fireworks back to the East River this July 4. But they couldn’t convince the department store to make the move this year.

 

On July 3, following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field.