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More New Yorkers will return to the stores this holiday season, Siena survey says

Eastview Mall
Eastview Mall/Facebook
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Eastview Mall in Victor

The day after Thanksgiving, ‘Black Friday,’ traditionally is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

But that pattern has been changing somewhat in recent years.

The biggest change is the shift to a lot of the holiday shopping being done online, a pattern that grew during the pandemic last year.

Siena College did a poll recently on holiday shopping, and Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute, said that nearly half of the New Yorkers polled plan to do at least half of their shopping online. But Levy said there will still be plenty of people carrying on the Black Friday tradition, and heading out to the stores.

“As far as the brick and mortar retailers are concerned, they should see a lot of people in the stores,” said Levy. “Nearly 70% of New Yorkers told us that they’re going to visit local independent stores. Similar numbers say that they’re going to go out to local big box or small chains in the neighborhood.”

Even with the expected rush to the malls, or individual stores, hours have been pared back somewhat in recent years, especially during the pandemic.

The local shopping malls and Pittsford Plaza are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, although individual store hours may vary.

And for the last couple of years, many of the big box retailers decided not to open up on Thanksgiving this year, a decision that some of them may stick with in future years.

The recent Siena survey also showed that about two out of every three New Yorkers are somewhat or very excited about the upcoming holiday season. But the poll also showed that it really comes down to an individual’s income level whether they plan to spend more money on gifts this year.

Levy said that New Yorkers making $100,000 or more are far more likely to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts.

But conversely, he said that New York residents making around $50,000 or less, are saying, “it’s just too tough a year, I don’t have the money, I’ve really got to watch it this year,” and Levy said those New Yorkers will be very careful about their spending.

But the holidays are not just about what you can afford to spend. The Siena poll showed that significant majorities of people are looking forward to, rather than dreading spending time with family.