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November 23, 2012

Black Friday shoppers shy away

Local buyers, stores avoid mall frenzies on Black Friday

GLOUCESTER — The term Black Friday may conjure up horrific images of long lines and pushy shoppers.

But Cape Ann businesses and shoppers alike honored this consumer tradition Friday in a busy but less frenetic style.

On Main Street in Gloucester, 26 shops opened up at 6 a.m., several hours earlier than normal, to encourage shoppers to spend their money in local stores.

Susan Parent, owner of Toodeloos! in Gloucester, helped organize the event’s early openings and they have paid off well.

“We’ve had a fantastic turnout so far,” Parent said Friday morning, serving cake to customers as they browsed the toys and board games.

Toodeloos! customer and Gloucester resident, Anne Lowe, said she usually stays away from the Black Friday masses. Lowe said the crowds are the reason she steers clear of the stores on the traditional first day of the holiday shopping season, but the local promotions this year brought her down to Main Street in Gloucester.

“I really like the shopping local idea,” she said.

Nathan Rowe, an employee of the toy store, said the most popular selling items of the day were Bruder toy trucks and Calico Critters doll houses.

Charlie Piscitello and his son Devin, both of Gloucester, were making stops early Friday morning at the Life is Good Store, the Lone Gull Cafe, and others.

Piscitello, like other shoppers, said his family has gotten over the post-Thanksgiving shopping craze.

“My wife and her sisters used to go to places like Best Buy and Sears around midnight, but not anymore,” he said. “In my opinion, once you’ve done that, you don’t want to do it again.”

Ed Muzio, owner of Sears Hometown store on Gloucester’s Eastern Avenue, opened his store at 12:30 a.m. on Friday morning, and found more than a dozen eager customers were waiting in line, he said.

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