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Ogdensburg businesses surpass expectations on Black Friday

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There wasn’t much of a break between Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday shopping this year.

“This is the first year we were open on Thanksgiving,” said Marianne E. Claxton, store manager at Peebles in the Seaway Plaza, Ogdensburg.

Peebles, like Wal-Mart, was open at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Ms. Claxton said “there was quite a line” when the store opened its doors. She estimates close to 100 people were in line waiting for the first shot at the nearly 300 door buster items Peebles had marked down.

“The first 25 people in line last night and this morning got gift cards,” said Ms. Claxton. Twenty-four people got $10 gift cards, and the 25th person got a $100 gift card.

The demand for bargains, she said, is telling.

“I think [the economy] is slowly improving,” she said.

Ms. Claxton said the store was slightly busier than last year.

Electronics stores were also getting in on the action.

AT&T, located in Ogdensburg’s Gateway Plaza, was selling HTC One X and Motorola Atrix HD smartphones for $1, marked down from $100.

“We usually open at 9 [a.m.],” said Assistant Market Manager Ryan A. Mauch, but on Black Friday doors opened at 7:30 a.m.

Mr. Mauch said there wasn’t a huge rush on Friday, but there was a line of five people waiting to pick up sale items when they opened.

At Wireless Zone in the Seaway Plaza, a store that specializes in Verizon products, Sales Consultant D.J. LaRock said they were open at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Their biggest sale item was a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

“It normally sells for $350,” said Mr. LaRock, “but it was only $100 today.”

Even with the price tag, Mr. LaRock wasn’t sure how it was going to sell.

“I had six of them,” he said. “They were gone by 8:30 a.m.”

Alec S. Agen, store manager at RadioShack in the Gateway Plaza, said his store had roughly 250 items marked down for Black Friday.

“We opened at 5 a.m. even though our advertisements said 8,” said Mr. Agen. “There have been three mad rushes today.”

He said laptops, Beats by Dre headphones and Kindle Fire HD tablets have been the top sellers.

It wasn’t all franchise stores that benefited from the Black Friday frenzy.

“Usually Black Friday isn’t great, but today it’s been excellent,” said Bonnie M. Griffith, owner of Cobblestone Gifts on Ford Street.

Ms. Griffith said she was looking forward to “Small Business Saturday,” the less well-known shopping day after Black Friday, for a sales rush. Even so, Ms. Griffith said she was busy all day on Friday.

She thinks the increased traffic in the area on Black Friday helped draw more customers.

Additionally, Cobblestone Gifts recently moved to its 1409 Ford St. location and Ms. Griffith said the new store is “brighter and more homey” than the previous one.

And while Black Friday has area businesses feeling good about the bottom line, the Ogdensburg City Police only reported one shopping-related disturbance: when someone took an X-Box video game console out of another person’s shopping cart at Wal-Mart. No charges were pressed.

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