Buyers out in force to score offers for Black Friday | Greene County
Shoppers crowded into Columbia and Greene County stores on Black Friday as the holiday shopping season began in earnest.
Greene County Chamber of Commerce chairman Jeff Friedman has expressed optimism that sales in his county will be strong in 2021.
“I expect sales to remain strong,” he said. “The last year has been pretty strong actually, considering COVID and everything. Retail sales have been quite robust throughout the summer and fall and we expect that to continue on Black Friday. “
Customer John Ore went through the trash cans of Spike’s Record Rack in Catskill and checked with a thick stack of vintage vinyl records.
The Brooklyn resident has a second home in the area, and despite the plethora of record stores in that borough, Ore said he always made a point of visiting the Catskill record store whenever he was in town.
“He’s still one of the best,” Ore said of the store. “It’s out of the question. It’s pretty typical, you guys walk into me every time I’m here. I always find stuff and it’s in great condition, original stuff. I’m totally in it. in the originals right now with New Wave, punk, and post-punk, I’m basically replacing things that I’ve lost over time.
Chris Bishop of Spike’s Record Rack said the store saw a noticeable increase in sales midway through Black Friday. “It’s been a lot of people since we opened at 10:00 am,” he said. “It’s earlier than usual for us and it hasn’t been empty since we opened.”
Local retailers are also trying to fight online sales by providing a unique experience for their customers.
“Online sales will be there no matter what,” Friedman said. “A lot of our retailers have created an online presence. Obviously this helps their business but beyond that I think what they have decided to do is make sure they have high quality products. Many of our businesses source local products and provide a selling experience that people cannot get by simply buying online. They are trying to be a little more personalized and improve customer service. Some of them do delivery and others do various promotions and incentives to enter stores. Fortunately, the consumer has remained loyal to our local retailers.
After a drop in holiday shopping in physical stores at the height of the pandemic in 2020, retailers were hoping for a rebound this holiday season.
According to statistics from the National Retail Federation, in-person purchases fell 37% on Black Friday last year from 2019 levels. Overall, 186.4 million Americans shopped in person or online over Thanksgiving weekend last year.
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President Bill Gerlach said on Friday he was encouraged by the first Black Friday sales figures and expected a rebound from the sales figures of 2020.
“I think the stores are going to see very high traffic this weekend and throughout the season,” he said. “I think people are a lot more optimistic than they were last year around this time. So we’re going to see some great sales figures. We have a huge number of people visiting our cities on weekends from all over the country. Here in the House office we have people coming from Seattle, the Jersey Shore, everyone seems to come to Columbia County. When they are here they leave their money to traders and businesses and that is a good thing for all of us.
At The Second Show thrift store on Warren Street in Hudson, manager Carol Lavender said her store was able to weather the COVID storm as effectively as possible. She noted that each month the store has a half-price sale to empty its inventory.
“We have good sales almost every day here, maybe because we’re one of the more affordable stores on the street,” Lavender said. “This morning (Friday) we had to restock everything almost as soon as I took it out. So it’s going fast. People are apparently looking for Christmas things, household items. The clothes go off. In Hudson last year, even with COVID, we had decent sales. “
Customer Janet Slarskey needed a pair of hiking boots for the winter and ventured out to Steiner’s Sports in Hudson, where she found a pair to her liking.
“I thought if there were any deals to be made, I might as well take a look,” she said.
The Tradewinds craft gift shop in Hudson also saw strong sales on Friday afternoon.
Stores in both counties were also scheduled to participate in Small Business Saturday, as stores will offer discounts and promotions to attract shoppers to local businesses.
“Small Business Saturday is a staple of the holiday shopping season, along with other notable days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said the Assembly’s Minority Leader. New York State, Will Barclay, in a statement. “While those days offer great deals for consumers shopping for big ticket items, the Saturday in between is a chance for consumers to find things they might not be able to get from major national retailers. New York has some amazing options and items that you just can’t get elsewhere, and buying them is of great benefit to local buyers and homeowners.
Gerlach said Columbia County retailers are drawing shoppers to their stores with unique offers.
“A lot of our stores have specialty products that you can’t find online,” he said. “With so many of our retailers, the jewelry is beautiful, the clothes are beautiful. You just can’t find a lot of these merchandise online. It is unique to our region. Stores are creative in their purchases and know what their customers are looking for. There’s nothing quite like walking up a main street on a holiday weekend and seeing old friends and neighbors. It’s great to invest in your community. I really think that’s the beauty of our stores and our inventory that they offer. I could do all of my shopping in Hudson and Chatham without ever logging in for a minute.