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Local News

November 26, 2013

Mall to open Thanksgiving night

Black Friday shopping is starting early at Southside Mall in Oneonta this year — doors will open and sales will start at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

The extended hours reflect a move by some national retailers, including J.C. Penney, OfficeMax and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Luisa Montanti, Southside Mall general manager, said Monday. And the longer hours will better serve customers by providing holiday hours to shop locally, she said.

However, some other retailers don’t have plans to open Thanksgiving Day.

“We weren’t on board for that,” Lary Gell, owner with his wife, Kelly, of Country Junction. The candle maker, home decor and gift business was in the mall until moving in July 2012 to 4987 State Route 23, which isn’t far from the mall entrance. Gell said he was talking with customers Monday afternoon and finding agreement that Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the company of family.

“It’s a family holiday — we will not be open,” Gell said. Country Junction will have extended hours other days during the holiday shopping season, he said.

According to the National Retail Federation, one in four surveyed said plans were to shop on Thanksgiving Day. And, of those who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day this year, seven in 10 said they shopped online and in stores on Thanksgiving in 2012.

Black Friday will be the biggest day of the shopping weekend this year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based group’s survey, with 69 percent planning to shop on Friday, 43.8 percent on Saturday and 24.2 percent Sunday.

Scholet Furniture, which has stores throughout the area including one at 4974 State Route 23 in Oneonta, won’t be open Thursday.

“We would like our staff to be able to spend time with their families,” owner Art Scholet said Monday.

Barbara Ann Heegan, president and chief executive director of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, said she wasn’t aware of any downtown Oneonta stores that will open on Thanksgiving.

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