Sandy's Dark Cloud Cast Shadow on Black Friday

Across Long Island, shopping frenzy seems muted, retailers and shoppers say.

Retailers nationwide have been expecting a good holiday shopping season, but it may be a slow start for local stores here on Long Island. It showed in the traffic around the Americana Manhasset Friday morning.

 It was a busy shopping day, but nothing more.

"I'm going shopping for myself," said Cathy, of New Hyde Park. She said came to the Americana Manhasset just as an escape from a hectic Thanksgiving.

"I had to get out of the house after doing all the cooking, so it's all about me today. "A lot of people are spending a lot of money recovering from Sandy," said Sherry Mahavir, who works at Gadgets and Gizmos inside the Broadway Mall in Hicksville.

Which could account for mall parking lots being easier to navigate and reasonable lines at the registers Friday. 

That paved the way for shoppers like Carol Orloff and Melissa Healey, of Plainview. They were determined to get their holiday shopping done in one day starting 8 p.m.

Thanksgiving night and planed to return home by early Friday afternoon.

"We just do it," said Orloff. "It's tradition." There are nationwide reports of shoppers losing control in the Black Friday shopping frenzy: In Moultrie, Ga., a ruckus broke out over a cell phone deal, the Huffington Post reported. In San Antonio, one shopper allegedly pulled a gun on a man who punched him attempting to cut into a line at a Sears store. So far, there are no strange incidents reported on Long Island Friday.

Kelly Durkin, of Levittown, says superstorm Sandy changed her family's holiday shopping plans. "A lot of people lost homes," she said. "My grandparents lost a lot from the flood. We're just going to get them gift cards. That's all they want."

 Even at discount retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target are not seeing as many shoppers as they might have liked. Lisa Herbie, from North Massapequa, said it will be hard to predict how the October storm will impact Long Island stores like the Target in Levittown.  

"People may be still looking for things to donate to other people," Herbie said. Black Friday has also changed a lot over the last decade. With stores competing by opening earlier and earlier.

"I think everyone was here last night and some stores were open on Thanksgiving," Herbie said. Internet shopping has also grown in popularity.

"I did my shopping already online," Cathy added.

Retailers hope to see their sales increase as Long Islanders continue their recover.
A Concerned Resident November 25, 2012 at 05:47 AM
I completely agree. I did not do any shopping on Black Friday. I plan on buying and supporting local merchants on Saturday. We are all still trying to recover from Sandy and I want to help my neighbors by purchasing holiday gifts from them.
Cindy Halpern November 25, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Thank you, Concerned Resident, for thinking of others. For there is true spirit of the holiday season.
Cindy Halpern November 25, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I am glad your family made it through Sandy and I hope your home can be fixed soon. And thank you for also thinking of others, even when you yourself could perhaps use some help. You are a good person, Cindy B.
Mary Anne November 25, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I also am thankful that you and your family are safe. My neighbors are busy putting up out door HOLIDAY decorations, with not an angel or manger in site. They are competing with each other for highest wattage, without a thought to why they're doing it. It's CHRIST'S birthday we're celebrating... we should be doing that by showing our love for friends, neighbors and ... enemies as Christ was our example. May your New Year be quietier and much more peace filled. God bless us all.
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