MAMARONECK, N.Y. – While many Westchester residents waited in long lines at county malls on Black Friday, some went to their local small businesses to purchase gifts.
“We don’t believe in Black Friday,” said Julia Longacre, who was shopping with her husband and their two grandchildren at Miller’s in Mamaroneck. “We love shopping here.”
Her husband said he feels for some of the Black Friday shoppers because they cannot afford the items otherwise, which he said was “very sad.”
The Longacres – 20-year residents of Mamaroneck – said they have been shopping at Miller’s “for a long time.”
The local toy store has been around since 1946. It is now on its third set of owners – Taka Andrews and his wife, Brooke Andrews – whose great grandfather first opened the store more than six decades ago. It was owned by Brooke's father after that.
“It is always a busy day for us,” said Taka. “People come to us because we’re a local business that they’re very familiar with – that they shopped in when they were young, and there’s very few businesses like this left in the world.”
He said trampolines are a popular item, along with dolls and building toys.
Another Mamaroneck holiday hotspot, The Toy Box, has been around since 1972. Steve Josephson took it over from his best friend, who passed away 17 years ago. His holiday sales tend to pick up the weekend after Thanksgiving, he said.
“The best-selling items right now are Legos, KidKraft and family board games,” said Josephson. “Maybe this afternoon, people will get tired of the mall and come here.”
He said his “large selection of merchandise, gift wrapping and free parking” are three of the reasons people love coming back. He also has sales of 10 percent off all items plus 20 to 30 percent off select items.
Over in Larchmont, Pink on Palmer owner Judy Graham said her store was doing well.
“We’ve had a nice day so far,” said Graham of the customer turnout. “If people go to the mall, they go to the big box stores. They go to get electronics and I don’t sell that kind of stuff. So I don’t expect people to be breaking down my doors, but it’s been steady.”
Graham, who has owned the store since its opening 10 years ago, said residents must support the small businesses to have “a nice downtown.”
She tries to keep the prices “down a little” because “in this economy, people maybe aren’t going to spend quite as much,” she said.
The bath and body, skin care and hair care store also sells several gift items.
Graham is looking forward to Nov. 24's Small Business Saturday, which she “really appreciates.”