Merchants and shoppers interviewed in Oneonta on Black Friday were generally upbeat about the start of the holiday season.
For nearly a decade, Black Friday was the official start of the shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The name refers to retailers turning a profit, or moving out of the red and into the black, as retailers open early and offer deep discounts.
But in the past few years, store chains have been opening on Thanksgiving.
Cathy Treffeisen of Sidney was walking to her car in the Southside Mall parking lot after shopping at TJ Maxx. She said she spent Thanksgiving at home.
“Usually we don’t do Black Friday,” she said. But she started the day at Kmart in Sidney, which was “packed.” She found the crowd at the mall more to her liking. Her husband owns a mechanical contracting business in Oneonta and business is good, but she said spending will probably be about the same as previous years.
Inside the mall, Jennifer Voorhies, a monitor at Walton Central School, was walking near JCPenney. She said she didn’t start shopping until about 11 a.m. After going to some downtown consignment shops, she was at TJ Maxx and JCPenney.
“The sales haven’t been that great” and she was not looking for anything in particular, she said. The season will be about the same as last year, she said, adding: “I do a lot online.”
Randy Francisco of Otego is a Verizon repairman. His shopping started yesterday in Walmart, where he was from 4:30 to 11:30 p.m.
“The bargains were excellent,” on purchases for electronics for the kids, among other items, he said. He said he was back shopping at JCPenney and Bath & Body Works on Friday, and expects to be finished Christmas Eve. “There are always last-minute things you need.”