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Black Friday not a big deal for some local businesses

December 1, 2017
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Black Friday is a day when big-name retail stores put pretty much everything on sale. Businesses like Target and Best Buy will sell flat screen TVs and Xbox Ones for nearly half the price they would originally. The deals are crazy and the crowds are even crazier, but Black Friday doesn't matter much in a town like Lake Placid where most stores are locally run.

Owner and operator of High Peaks Cyclery Karen Delaney said, "We play up Small Business Saturday more than Black Friday."

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving that encourages holiday shoppers to buy from brick-and-mortar shops rather than large chain stores and digital marketplaces.

Article Photos

For brick-and-mortar stores in Lake Placid such as High Peaks Cyclery, Black Friday isn’t so much the biggest day of the year as a starting point to the winter and holiday seasons. Small Business Saturday is the day many local business owners look forward to.
(News photo — Griffin Kelly)

Karen and her husband and co-owner, Brian, said internet services like Amazon are sometimes competitors, but customer end up coming into the store anyway for reliable service.

"[The internet] has gotten people so deal oriented rather than focusing on the quality," Karen said, "but they really want the best, not the cheapest."

The Cyclery had a few sales such as deals on ski and mountain bikes, and they always have the "Recyclery" open with used and markdown winter gear, but Black Friday is more a starting point for the shopping season rather the biggest day of the year, according to Brian.

"It starts the holiday season and a trickle-down effect," he said. "Customers and tourists will be coming in for the next couple of weeks."

Other shop managers in Lake Placid said Black Friday isn't so special, and it's actually sporting events and the weather that will help bring in business.

Manager of the Lake Placid Skate Shop Christie Sausa said Skate America is what's creating a draw this weekend for her business.

"We have a niche clientele," she said. "We're happy Skate America is here to bring in a few people."

Being located right across the street from the Olympic hockey rinks is a positive for the Skate Shop.

"This is one of the first things skaters and fans see when they leave the arena," Sausa said.

The Skate Shop also sells some clothing from the USA Spirit Shop located farther up the road from the arena. Sausa said building partnerships helps keep business good in Lake Placid.

Lake Placid doesn't suffer from the "typical metropolitan hecticness" of Black Friday, she said, so not too many people are lining up for ice-skating apparel and souvenirs after eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Assistant manager at Cunningham's Ski Barn Sean Robinson said Black Friday is for the big retail stores, not for mom-and-pop businesses. Sales and rentals at Cunningham's coincide with opening day at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.

"Whiteface opened about a week ago, so Black Friday doesn't mean too much to us," he said. "Last week it was busy enough where I actually needed help and called in a co-worker."

Robinson said it's physically seeing snow that gets people interested in skiing and snowboarding.

"It's in their consciousness when it starts to get cold," he said.



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