With the Thanksgiving holiday in the rearview mirror, Queens residents turned their attention to holiday shopping.
Friday, Nov. 24 — also known as Black Friday this year — marked the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
We sent some reporters to speak with shoppers in College Point and Elmhurst to get their views on Black Friday shopping.
Shoppers buck trend at Queens Center mall opting for clothing over electronics
The Black Friday crowd at the Queens Center mall seemed smaller than usual Friday morning and shoppers were making most of their purchases at clothing stores as opposed to electronic stores.
In years past, there was always a line to get into the Apple store, but this year a long line of shoppers waited to get into Hollister California, a small shop specializing in jeans and outerwear.
“If you’re shopping for young people this is where you go,” Ozone Park resident Sirag Rocky said while he waited on line patiently. “This is where you get the stylish jeans the kids like.”
Two Bangladeshi brothers from South Ozone Park, who didn’t want to use their last name because of immigration concerns, agreed that clothing was trending this year as opposed to electronic gadgets.
“Electronics are so out of fashion because everyone has their smart phones now. It’s reached its peak,” Abid, 16, said. “There’s hardly any way to improve your electronics anymore and so we’re here for the clothes.”
The brothers have made annual trips to the Queens Center mall for the past five years.
“The best deals were in the biggest stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney,” Akif, 14, said. “We picked up some sweaters and things for the cold weather.”
Nona and Nicholas Rodriguez grabbed a bus from East Williamsburg, Brooklyn for their annual trek to the largest mall in Queens.
“There’s just no way we would go into the city for this type of shopping,” Nicholas said. “It’s such a simple bus ride to get here.”
Nona looked over a half dozen shopping bags perched on a small table with clothing and a pair of Doc Martens she had purchased for her son.
“It’s Black Friday. It’s all about looking for the best deals for family and friends,” she said. “I’m like an early bird shopper, and I don’t like to procrastinate. I pick up everything I need for Christmas and if I see a good deal I’ll by birthday presents too.”
She said internet shopping is fine for electronics and toys, but not for clothes.
“When I’m buying a loved one clothing I like to touch it and feel the fabric before I buy it,” Nona said.
Nicholas agreed while pulling a well-worn paperback book from his jacket pocket.
“It’s like preferring a book as opposed to a Kindle,” he said. “You like to feel the pages and smell the book you’re reading. Toys you get online, clothes? No way.”
-- Bill Parry
Shoppers take advantage of great deals in College Point
Queens residents were taking advantage of Black Friday Sales at the College Point mall.
Early Friday morning, Target, Modells and Old Navy were started to get busy, but things had not become overwhelming quite yet.
Old Navy, located at 139-15 20th Ave., had a store wide 50 percent off sale, and at around 10 a.m. the clothing store already had a steady stream of customers. Employees said it was busy, but they expected it to pick up as the day went along, with the lines getting longer.
Astoria resident Arielle Duran, shopping with her daughter, was one of many to make the early trip out to the store. The mother of three said the sales were great and she came to Old Navy because it’s one of her daughters favorite stores.
“The sales can be good, but it depends on what you pick up,” she said. “It’s a good chance to get three of the same outfits to make my girls match.”
Target, located at 135-05 20th Ave., was starting to get very busy at around 11 a.m. All of the cash register lines were busy, but things were moving along smoothly, according to employees. The department store had multiple sales on clothing, home appliances and food.
Most customers said they usually shop at Target anyway, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to save. One grandmother said she had just come back from TJ Maxx and was using today as an opportunity to start her Christmas shopping.
“I’m here to pick up some things for myself,” she said. “I also want to see what I can get for my grandkids as well. The prices are good.”
-- Gina Martinez