December 1, 2013

Local shoppers out in force

PLATTSBURGH — Call it point and counterpoint. Black Friday, known for drawing crowds of shoppers to national-chain retail stores, is followed by Small Business Saturday, which aims to promote local establishments. 

Both got reactions in the North Country.

Black Friday

“We were gearing up for a strong event,” said Kyle Siskavich, store Leader at JC Penney in the Champlain Centre mall, regarding Friday’s day of shopping. Siskavich said that it was the first year that the store was open for 25 hours — from 8 p.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Friday. 

“We had a lot of prep, and we had to make sure we were properly staffed for the holiday shopping.”    

On Black Friday, home goods and small electronics were popular, Siskavich said.

“It went well. We had nice foot traffic, more so than last year, and nice traffic from our Canadian customers.”    

Such cross-border shopping was also noted by Canadian Television News.

“We found out when the stores were opening, and we turned up and saw how many Quebecers were there,” said CTV reporter Annie DeMelt.

“We randomly met people, and there were quite a few of them. Black Friday keeps getting bigger here (in Quebec), but it is not anywhere close to the U.S. or even the other provinces.”

 DeMelt said that her impression is that people compare fliers from Canadian stores and those in the United States, and Plattsburgh, she observed, “is so close to the border.”    

Some Plattsburgh restaurants also saw an increase in traffic on Friday as shoppers stopped to eat.

“People really worked up an appetite,” said Liz Cummings, owner of Adirondack Michigans Plus. “We had a nice influx, and quite a few of our Canadian visitors were here.”

Cummings added with a smile that many people were ordering turkey dinners.

“They were still in turkey mode.”

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