Dan Levy & WNYT Staff
Updated: November 29, 2019 01:30 PM
Created: November 29, 2019 09:39 AM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - It has become just as much a regular retail ritual as it is a trendy post-Thanksgiving tradition. They very next day after Americans feast on turkey is the day they begin feasting and focusing on gift giving merchandise acquisition.
"Every business wants to have that expect factor, but I do hope that it stays that way," says Pam Worth, owner of Spoken Boutique on Church Street. "I hope that every business does well. It keeps our economy hopping."
Things were really hopping at the Spoken Boutique Friday morning as bargain hunters were lined up before dawn, and began browsing and buying as soon as the front doors swung open.
"What people don't realize is there is value in our small businesses," Worth asserted. "We are the backbone in what makes a community successful."
Black Friday Saratoga was launched a decade ago to lure internet shoppers into the brick and mortar shops.
Fran Dingeman does the marketing for those downtown businesses not only so that they can share a piece of the holiday pie, but so that they can survive.
"It's very important for these stores to make this initial impact and keep these shoppers coming back over the next four weeks," Dingeman explained.
Black Friday 2019 brings added urgency this year. With Thanksgiving coming later than usual, business owners have a narrower window in which to reap the rewards that the holiday shopping season typically brings.
"We got up at 5:40, we hit the road, and we got here by six," Lori Ross, of Malta - her arms full of shopping bags, bragged.
Ross is one of the diehards mapping out her shopping strategy and then along with friends and relatives executes the plan with painstaking purchasing precision.
"You got to get up, you got to move, you got to get out, and you got to come see the bargains because they're here," she said.
"We do a lot of shopping but this is our first Black Friday extravaganza (together)," said Caitlyn Riggi, of Syracuse, shopping with Ross, who is her aunt.
For many shoppers, Black Friday Saratoga is multi-generationally family friendly.
"When I was younger, my mother used to go out so when I was old enough she'd let me come along for part of the time," said Nicole Keck of Burnt Hills.
So what's the best thing about Black Friday Saratoga?
"It's the only day of the year that you can shop downtown and actually see the sun come up," says Dingeman.
After Friday, there are only 25 shopping days left until Christmas.
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