By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — While Thursday morning snows may have kept some away from after-Christmas shopping, bargain hunters were at the Southside Mall. Downtown Oneonta merchants said the day was mixed but the Christmas season was generally better than expected.
Amber Davis of Bovina Center said she was at the mall to use some gift cards she got as presents, and that she had seen some good sales while there. It was a good Christmas, with spending about the same as last year, she said.
Sherry Decker of Otego said she was at the mall because she wanted to get a half-price calendar. She said she expected to see more people, but the snow probably kept them away.
Pamela Hernandez of Hartwick said she was looking for some games to take on vacation, and found them at half price as expected in after Christmas sales. Since the weather was bad, she was staying close to home, she said.
Marcos Villanueva, manager at Go! Calendars, Games & Toys, said that the results for the day were only average because of the weather. Overall, he said, sales were better than last year for the Christmas season.
Linda Lionetta of Fly Creek was finishing her day’s shopping Thursday with her three daughters. Sales at Walmart and mall stores such as Bath & Body Works made several hours of shopping a success, she said. They left their home at about noon, she said, and had a longer drive because of the snow, but were happy with what they found.
On Main Street, McLaughlin’s Department Store manager Peggy Wells said the day after Christmas was about average. Usually, there are some returns but there were none Thursday, she said, although the weather could have affected that.
The season was excellent, with above-average sales across the board, she said, possibly because people wanted to shop local.
Razzle Dazzle owner Debra North said the day after Christmas is usually not a special day for sales. However, the snow apparently kept people close to home, and there was a steady group of shoppers during the day, she said.
A special late-night shopping day organized for downtown merchants this Christmas season was one of the best selling days of the season, she said. Along with the Saturday before Christmas, it helped keep sales the same as last year, she said, though the season was shorter.
Michele Barry, owner of Green Toad Bookstore, said the day after the holiday is typically a good day, but the weather made it only “reasonably good.”
The season had a slow start, she said, but the last week was strong enough to make it “a positive year.”