Black Friday is now kind of a gray area

November 24, 2017 12:18 PM

BRUNSWICK – The black in this year’s “Black Friday” has four legs and greets you from behind a split rail fence. It’s a black alpaca at the Tybush Mountain Alpaca Farm.

“Alpaca is hypoallergenic; there's no lanolin in it,” explains Elva Benninson. “It's warmer than wool. It's not itchy, it's soft. You can feel it."

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They have opened off Route 7 just in time for Small Business Saturday and feature everything from hats to scarves to mittens and socks.

There was almost as big a crowd there as there was in the early morning hours outside Crossgates Mall, which has seen its share of Black Friday rush in the past. But the cliché of Black Friday has changed, according to economists. Shopper safety, consumer demand and competition require retailers to get big sales out well ahead of Thanksgiving, Ted Potrikus with the Retail Council said via twitter.

“But when you can't afford it, you do what you have to do and so I went and slept out and I met so many nice people,” said Susan Jordan, who was first in line with her sister at Best Buy Friday morning. She was talking about a time she went shopping in Florida, adding a fellow shopper said “Don't worry, I've got a pistol in my boot so you don't have to worry.” But remember, that was in Florida.

Another woman from Greenville in the Best Buy line ready to get a 4K Smart TV was wearing a Chicago Bears winter hat with flashing lights: “I heard a long time ago that people used to bring walkie-talkies and stuff,” explained Ashley Cootware. “I wasn't going to do all that. So at least you can find me in the store if I have the hat flashing, you know what I mean?"

What’s changed?

“The internet, for sure,” said Betsy Madden of Schoharie County. “And if I could get that TV online I wouldn't be standing here."

Two sisters from Bennington, VT – Susan Plaisance and Jen Austin – spent part of Thanksgiving clipping coupons and mapping out a shopping strategy for their annual sojourn to the stores.

“It's really a tradition for us now more than it is a need to get first morning thing,” Austin said. “It's fun for us. We look forward to it."

“We've been doing this for so many years since our children were little and now they're in college and all grown up and we can't stop,” said Plaisance, adding “and this is the first year that all the stores weren't open when we got here so we've been trying to stall."



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