ONEONTA — Holiday shopping traffic was busy at Southside Mall during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to staff at four stores Sunday.
But they said they are waiting for the pace to pick up during the remaining weeks before Christmas.
“Generally Black Friday is crazy — everybody is out,’’ Rachel Smith, manager in training at Olympia Sports said. However, this year’s Black Friday was slower than expected, she said, and consumers arrived in “spurts.’’
Then Saturday and Sunday were busier with shoppers, though the advertised sales were as good as Black Friday sales, Smith said.
“The mall was really full, and there were people constantly coming in,’’ Smith said. ``We went through a lot of gift boxes. … It should be a good Christmas.’’
Staff at several national retailers, such as Kay Jewelers, referred questions to corporate offices or to managers who wouldn’t be at work until today.
Thanksgiving shopping took away from Black Friday’s start to the holiday season, as the latest survey found retail sales in stores fell slightly from last year, the Associated Press reported.
ShopperTrak reported Saturday that consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the country, down 1.8 percent from last year’s total, the AP said, and today, Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day for the third year in a row.
Some stores at Southside Mall were open overnight starting at midnight Thursday, with hopes of catching shoppers from Walmart, which had sales Thursday night, Victoria Vajo, manager at Magnolia’s Fudge and Gift Shoppe, said Sunday. Some shoppers were at the mall with children who were awake and crying at 3 a.m., she said, which she described as “odd.’’
She and two other employees worked overnight at the store near clothing and home goods retailer TJ Maxx. Though the fudge shop store offered deep discounts on some gift items, she said, there wasn’t enough consumer traffic.