Black Friday Has Been Slow Near the Tracks, Merchants Report

The morning in the Upper Ridgewood shopping district was in line with expectations, merchants said. Hopes weren't high.

Black Friday – what Black Friday? Things were very, very quiet along Broad St. and the Wilsey Square area just before noon.

Sure, there were a couple of people ambling along but they turned out to be from out of town (actually, out of state – the winners, a couple from Plano, Texas were here to visit relatives). Stores were empty, but most managers said they hadn't expected and, in fact, hadn't planned to do anything special for Black Friday. Maybe offer 20% off but that was it.

"Who's going to be here?" said John of .

"Tomorrow, maybe, if the visitors want to pick up some nice cheeses to bring back to Indiana or wherever. They've been in here early in the week for their liquors and cheeses and today it's just leftovers time."

Of course, picking up a bit of food didn't apply to every single store since and were busily serving customers at 10 a.m. Cars would pull up to the curb, their owners maybe put a quarter in, they'd run inside  and emerge with coffee and. But a place like , the women's clothing store, had nary a customer.

"What do you expect with the rain?" said Maria, manager at Marcia's Attic. "Yes, we have a 'take an additional 20% off' sale but we're just open our usual time from 10-6."

No stores had opened at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. or 7 a.m. In fact, here it was 10:15 and , which listed hours of opening on their front door as opening at 10 was still dark.

"We dropped the kids off at grandma's in Waldwick and we've got two hours until our movie (Harry Potter) starts," said Tess, who with her husband Chris was visiting from Staten Island, and looking for something to do as the couple strolled around Wilsey Square.

"This is such a cute, sort of college town. I just wish it was more lively."

store was packed but, said the clerk, that was because a wedding party was picking up their outfits. And even though was empty, Jeff, a clerk, said that this would be a busy day. Not because of Black Friday but there's a family portrait for a Bar Mitzvah and also an aspiring model having a shoot.

A lone little boy was getting his haircut at along Godwin Ave. as his mother and siblings waited.

"I avoid it like the plague," the mother said, referring to taking advantage of Black Friday action at the malls.

"If I have to shop – which I don't have to today – I go local. I never leave this town." 


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