Press-Republican

Local News

November 23, 2007

Black Friday in Plattsburgh

More variety and lower prices and taxes cited by shoppers from the north

PLATTSBURGH -- Josee Prince left Canada a day early to spend Black Friday perusing Plattsburgh stores.

She stayed at La Quinta Hotel, and even had a set of tires delivered to her room before venturing out to shop.

"The winter tires were half the price here than in Montreal," said the Laval, Quebec, resident.

The $300 she saved paid for her stay in Plattsburgh, and she enjoyed her first experience here on Black Friday -- as the big shopping blitz after Thanksgiving is called.

She didn't pick up gifts, though, choosing instead to shop largely for herself while her husband sat in Borders sipping his coffee.

"The taxes for clothing in Montreal are 15 percent, and here they are just over 3 percent."

CANADIAN PRESENCE

Stores near the U.S.-Canadian border are reporting a big increase in the number of shoppers coming south. Canadians say the appeal of shopping in the United States is in variety not seen at home and low prices.

On Friday, with the Canadian dollar at $1.01 U.S., there appeared to be equal numbers of cars with Canadian and New York plates stalking departing shoppers for their parking spaces.

Same-day car trips by Canadians to the United States hit a six-year high in September, the most recent month available, surpassing the 2 million mark for the first time this year, according to Statistics Canada.

Fewer than half the number of Americans made same-day trips to Canada that month.

The Canada Border Services Agency said it was increasing resources and overtime but warned Black Friday shoppers to expect longer wait times, especially during the late afternoon and evening, as people returned to Canada.

EARLY RISERS

Dedicated shoppers, hungry for deals on popular items, set out in the wee hours Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, and many retailers open early, offering "door-buster deals."

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