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Local News

November 30, 2013

Black Friday shoppers pack stores


In downtown Oneonta, McLaughlin’s Department Store manager Peggy Wells said business has been about the same as last year.

“We are expecting a good season,” with the line of Pandora jewelry helping to bring people in, she said. In the last six months, she said, she has noticed a pickup in business.

Darlene Kessler of Laurens, a barista at Starbucks, was shopping in the store Friday. She started at about 1 p.m. Thursday to avoid the crowds, looking for apparel for her daughter. She said she plans on spending about the same as last year during the season.

Kathy Verrelli is the co-owner of Theresa’s Emporium, which opened at its new location on Main Street earlier this month. Business was busy Friday, with people starting to come in starting around noon, she said.

“It seems like a good season,” for the store, which sells an assortment of items including, housewares, candles and fudge, she said.

One of those shopping Friday was Heather Marzano of Jersey City, originally from Otego. She is a real estate developer visiting her mother for Thanksgiving. She started shopping Friday and was just browsing. The mall will be her last stop, but she prefers the selection and atmosphere that she finds downtown, she said.

This is the 39th season for Razzle Dazzle, owner Debra North said.

“I think I am doing a little better than last year,” she said, but with the season a week shorter, she was not sure what to expect.

“People seem to be upbeat — I am seeing a lot of my old customers,” at the store, which offers an eclectic mix for housewares, gifts and children’s toys, she said.

One of those shopping in the store was Hartwick chemistry professor Susan Young, who said she was downtown because she wanted to support local businesses. She expects it will be a better year economically, she said, but her spending on educational toys and the work of local artists will be about the same.

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