Queens residents flocked to shopping centers throughout the borough Friday, some waking as early as 3 a.m. to take advantage of steep Black Friday sales despite a tanking national economy that has left many Americans tightening the grip on their wallets.
But while some stores in Queens were experiencing enough human traffic to satisfy managers concerned about the impact of the recession on sales, the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and Jamaica Avenue were reminiscent of ghost towns.
Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst was already bustling with shoppers at 4 a.m., and Bay Terrace in Bayside and the Lake Success Shopping Center on the border of Floral Park were teeming with residents anxious to purchase holiday gifts on sale. Store managers at Queens Place, down the street from the mall, said shoppers were champing at the bit to purchase everything from the televisions to Wiis that were significantly less thanks to Black Friday discounts.
Rick Sanichara, manager of the Target at Queens Place, a shopping center at 56th Avenue and Queens Boulevard, said the store had completely sold out of more than 500 Westinghouse LCD televisions, on sale for $299 — $200 less than the regular retail price, three hours after it opened at 6 a.m.
Boro sees mixed turnout on Black Friday
Although Black Friday sales rose about 3 percent nationwide, some shopping spots in Queens failed to draw crowds.
In Glendale, the Shops at Atlas Park, which has a number of high−end stores, was practically deserted at 9:30 a.m. Friday despite numerous shops boasting signs advertising special sales starting as early as 6 a.m.
Forest Hills 72 was at Atlas, too, and noticed the same thing.