*This article was authored by our media partner ‘The Leader’, and Jeff Smith*
CORNING, N.Y. (THE LEADER) – The pandemic has altered this year’s holiday season shopping, with fewer people hitting the stores on Black Friday — but the Gaffer District and several local retail shops will continue to offer sales through Christmas, and some even later.
Coleen Fabrizi, executive director of Corning’s Gaffer District, said starting Monday, many businesses in the Gaffer District will be offering more shopping, pickup and delivery options.
“We will be listing promotions (for Gaffer District businesses) on our website (www.gafferdistrict.com), because what we are finding is, this year, because of the impact of the pandemic, people aren’t just going out and shopping on Black Friday like they usually do,” Fabrizi said. “This year, we are encouraging consumers to go to all of our businesses, whether it’s on their social media channel or hook up with the curbside pickup. We also are offering complimentary delivery within a 30-mile radius of Corning.”
Jill Agosta, store manager at Connors Mercantile on Market Street, said Black Friday went “quite well,” but sales will continue all the way through the month of December.
“We have different promotions going on with all of our different vendors throughout the Christmas season,” Agosta said. “Trying to spread everything out throughout the month to make it easier for the customers.”
Sarah Files, owner of Pip’s Boutique on Market Street, said her store was also busy on Black Friday, but Pip’s will also keep promoting Christmas sales throughout December.
“I think having the sales and the pickup and delivery options are just good added features, because some ladies are hesitant to come out (due to the pandemic),” Files said. “If they are, they can either shop through FaceTime to get everything that they need, or just run in and we will have it delivered to them.”
“It’s Christmas time,” said Carilin Young, a customer at Pip’s. “It’s the place to go if you want to go out and find some nice things for your family.”
Sales will also continue throughout the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, at Famous Brands Outlet in Watkins Glen, and several other businesses throughout the area.
Shelly Rich, Arnot Mall general manager, said Black Friday sales were a little less than they usually are due to the pandemic, but many stores at the mall will continue to offer sales through Christmas and even into the new year.
“Most of the retailers at the Arnot Mall are extending their Black Friday specials through December,” Rich said. “The foot traffic wasn’t the same as it’s been year after year on Black Friday, but the sales were pretty steady.”
James Guild, owner of Famous Brands on North Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, said sales at his store will also continue through December.
“We want to do this for people who don’t want to come into the store and shop with big crowds, and (for) those just looking for a great deal,” Guild said.