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.
The new Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game console was released at midnight Thursday in stores in Queens and around the country, and residents and gamers everywhere lined up to get it first.
“I have been waiting since the day I was born,” said Fresh Meadows resident Zack Abid, who was one of the first people to walk out of the Queens Place mall’s Best Buy store in Elmhurst with the new game system. “We’ve got new games, new consoles and we are about to enjoy them.”
The release of the new video game system was well received, despite the steep $400 price tag. Various electronic retailers had large crowds and long lines.
Many people reserved the video game online weeks ahead and came to pick it up at 12 a.m., while others who wanted to avoid pre-ordering fees, began lining up at the stores to buy any leftover game consoles.
The line at the Queens Place Best Buy had more than 90 people trying to buy the device without pre-ordering.
The GameStop in Flushing on Roosevelt Avenue had a line of more than 50 people on the sidewalk from about 6 p.m., collecting preorders for the new device. The store sold out within the hour.
“It’s one of the most anticipated days of the year [for sales],” said the GameStop store manager.
Various game critics in the industry have given the new console rave reviews. The system has advanced graphics and processing power over its predecessor, Play Station 3 (PS3), and the new DualShock 4 controller has a touchpad and a share button, which allows users to upload videos of their games to social media sites.
Although many are criticizing the new system because it can’t play PS3 games, many are excited to play newer games.
“I still have my PS3, I feel like it didn’t really sway me either way. It would have been nice though,” said College Point resident Andy Medina, who was buying his system from the Flushing GameStop. “I really enjoyed my PS3 so I figured this is the next best thing.”
Some were not so lucky to get the game though. Just around 12:30 a.m. the Queens Place Best Buy announced that they ran out of PS4s for customers that didn’t preorder and dozens of people were turned away.
However, the console craze isn’t over yet. This time next week electronic stores will host midnight launches again, as they prepare for the release of Microsoft’s Xbox One, the successor to the popular Xbox 360 game system, on November 22.