LAKE PLACID - Local businesses that the News spoke with reported good sales over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Black Friday being the best day of the three-day weekend, according to a majority of businesses.
"Friday our sales were wonderful, better than what our expectations were," said JoAnn McCabe, manager of the Glassblowing Shop. "We would have been happy with $1,200, $1,300 and we were above that."
Main Street in Lake Placid was full of shoppers and visitors over the Thanksgiving weekend. This photo was taken on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Photo/Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News
Leigh Ann Tahash, manager of Critters, echoed McCabe's statement.
"Friday was definitely the busier day for the weekend," she said. "It was like a very busy summer day in here where it's difficult to walk around the store because everywhere you go there's somebody (there)."
Anita Sears, sales associate for Cinderella's, said sales for this Thanksgiving weekend were up from last year.
"From last year, she's up," she said. "The bottom line is just to do better every year, and this is a tough year for everybody and tough for our area with the flooding in the spring and then the hurricane and with money being tight, but she's done well."
Sears said she didn't know the exact sales figures for the store when we spoke on Sunday.
Black Friday sales were also up nationally. According to ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based research firm that collects data from 25,000 outlets across the country, said shoppers spent $11.4 billion on Friday. That's an increase of 6.6 percent from last year's Black Friday sales.
"I think it's exceptional news for retailers," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin told the IBTimes. "We've seen some positive numbers as we've rolled through the balance of this year. But when we see 6.6 percent, that's a pretty substantial number. We haven't seen a number that big since 2008. I think it's going to be a good indicator for the potential holiday season."
Martin said there were several reasons for why Black Friday sales increased this year.
First, many retail chains opened at midnight or even earlier such as Macy's, Target, Kohl's, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, thereby, attracting a different shopping crowd.
Second, some retailers offered customers the option to put items on layaway during this holiday season.
Lastly, consumers had been building up their savings by holding off on purchases due to the uncertain economic climate and on Black Friday they were willing to release some of their pent-up demand.
"Consumers have endured enough bad news with housing markets and jobless rates and the sketchy economy both here and abroad, and the holiday season is something they can participate in," Martin told the IBTimes. "And they don't have to participate in it at a crazy level, but if everyone participates in some way, then the numbers add up pretty quickly."
"Usually, Lake Placid hasn't seemed to follow the typical trends of other retail establishment areas, you know like shopping malls, it's more of a tourism type of business trend, but people were definitely buying Christmas presents and doing Christmas shopping," Tahash said.
She said the bulk of Critters' customers were tourists and they were buying everything in the store, with the most popular items being Pandora Jewelry and Lazy One pajamas.
Visitor Kristine Stein, of Hyde Park, N.Y., said she purchased some Christmas decorations, gloves and articles of clothing during her and her family's stay in Lake Placid over the Thanksgiving weekend.
"The outlets are cute and they have good prices," she said.
Visitor John Morrissey, of Commack, Long Island, was in Lake Placid over the Thanksgiving weekend for a CAN/AM tournament, and said he and his family did some shopping while they were here.
"We pretty much went up and down Main Street to the shops," he said. "We shopped everywhere. Every store was helpful."
He said they purchased anything ranging from shoes at Bass to Lake Placid souvenirs such as coffee mugs at independent shops. He also found some unique items such as rubber band guns while shopping.
McCabe said many shoppers at the Glassblowing Shop were looking for unique items to purchase.
"My new pieces were doing well - the blown Santa heads (and snowmen) - they were of a more unique type of Christmas ornaments," she said. "We sold quite a bit of that style; it's not the kind of thing you'd buy in Wal-Mart."
Future shopping days
Martin said the Saturday and Sunday following Black Friday are also big shopping days.
While Saturday proved to be busy for most Lake Placid businesses, business was slower on Sunday.
"Today (Sunday) is usually the slower of the three days," said Michael Beglin, co-owner of Beglin's Lake Placid Jewelers and Gifs.
"Today (Sunday) is pretty quiet," said Jin He, Body and Sole sales associate. "I guess everybody has left and went home."
Martin said there are still a few other important shopping dates left this holiday season, and they are: the last two Saturdays before Christmas and Dec. 23.
But such an emphasis is place on Black Friday sales because they indicate how the rest of the holiday shopping season will go, according to Martin.
"We know that if you don't have a good Black Friday, it's hard to have a good total season," he told the IBTimes. "I think everybody should be pretty encouraged and excited about the results."
Contact Margaret Moran at 518-523-4401 or at email@example.com