, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 24, 2012

Black Friday crowds upbeat

Local merchants cautiously optimistic about season


Valerie’s Gallery owner Valerie Stainton had been making sales since before her shop opened at 9 a.m. and was feeling good about the holiday season just beginning.

“Everyone is in a really good mood. No one is really talking about the economy or anything,” said Stainton. “You’re not really sensing any pessimism. I’m just optimistic about the season. It’s going to be a great season.”

Local shopper Deb Potter of Newburyport was at French Lessons Boutique on the lookout for a “funky/different” outfit for her 30th Masconomet High School high school reunion and felt that the warm weather might be keeping some people away from the shops.

“I would think that anyone who is outdoorsy and would be shopping on Black Friday otherwise is out on the beach or hiking or whatever else they can do in the sun at 52 degrees at the end of November,” said Potter. “I’ll be heading there as soon as I’m out of here.”

French Lessons’ sales associate Lauren Sundstrom said her shop was seeing plenty of new customers with locals bringing guests in from all over the country, but that it wasn’t necessarily translating into sales just yet.

“It’s busy, not as much sales but everyone is coming in to look around,” said Sundstrom. “But sales are pretty much normal for any other day. There’s a lot more foot traffic. It’s a lot more new people.”

The manager of the Soak soap bar Dianne Sirard was in the middle of some remodeling for the upcoming season when this year’s early Thanksgiving occurred and said she was seeing a lot of regular customers coming out in the unseasonably warm weather.

“It’s very busy,” said Sirard. “Everything is very weather-dependant around here. We’re trying to get ready for the holidays and I think the weather is making a big difference today. Everybody seems to be Christmas shopping and very festive.”

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