Shoppers hitting the stores on this Black Friday expect it to be crowded, since there will probably be more people than ever at central New York’s biggest shopping venue.
A year ago, the expansion to Destiny USA was still in its early stages, with storefronts not yet filled. This year, there are 80 or so more stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues than there were a year ago, according to Mall Manager Rob Schoeneck. That’s already meant more shoppers than in the past.
"Weekends in October and November have already been busier than we’ve seen in October and November before,” Schoeneck said.
But Schoeneck says Black Friday actually isn’t the busiest shopping day for retailers. He reserves that designation for the Saturday before Christmas. He also notes in the last decade, some of the busiest days of the year are now between Christmas and New Years, with more stores offering sales and more people getting gift cards over the holidays.
"It’s interesting how busy that week after Christmas, between Christmas and New Years has become," Schoeneck said. "I think a lot of that is a lot of stores now do bigger discounts right after Christmas, and the amount of gift cards people are given as presents. I think that’s really increased in the last ten years.”
Schoeneck also offers some advice for those preparing to face the throngs of shoppers.
"I really strongly suggest people, if they haven’t used our lots on Solar Street, to think about using those. It gets a little congested in the original parking lots. And it’s really easy getting in and out using the pedestrian bridge.”
He says using the parking lots on Solar Street may help shoppers get in and out of the mall faster, too.
"It’s very convenient when things are busy, and at least getting in and getting out," Schoeneck said. "And once you're in the escalators and the pedestrian bridge you’re out of the weather, you’re warm and you’re comfortable.”
Schoeneck also advises shoppers to be patient with the crowds, noting that this time of year people tend to be in better moods.