BY PAULINA TAM AND ASHA MAHADEVAN
A diamond ring, inexpensive designer bags and discounted flat-screen TVs are just some of the goods shoppers can expect to find in Queens on Black Friday and throughout Thanksgiving weekend.
Michael Kors is offering a 50 percent discount on their bags, Macy’s is selling a $1,300 diamond ring for $499 and Atlas Park shops are distributing free gifts.
Local shops are also jumping into the festivities on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29) with shop owners offering massive discounts to encourage shoppers to go local.
We rounded up some of the best deals available:
Buy one full-priced item at Banana Republic at the Queens Center Mall at 90-15 Queens Blvd. until 1 p.m. on Black Friday and take 40 percent off all of your purchases all day. Take 50 percent off your entire purchase on Thanksgiving and Black Friday at the Gap in QCM and 40 percent off your entire purchase on Nov. 29. Craving that special Michael Kors bag all season? If you go to their boutique at QCM, take 50 percent off select styles and an additional 25 percent off all sale merchandise until 10 a.m. on Friday. Go on www.shopqueenscenter.com for a full listing of participating retailers.
Famed retailer Macy’s is also hosting a great Black Friday sale. The retailer at QCM is offering deals on all their departments. Purchase a three-stone diamond ring in 14-karat white gold that is regularly priced at $1,300 for $499. Save 60 percent off select designer coats from the women’s department. Take $100-150 off select Dyson vacuums. For kids, save 60 percent off select Carter’s playwear.
Do you have a craving for electronics and other select goodies that you cannot find at the malls? Target at 88-01 Queens Blvd. is offering door busters on their HDTVs. Save $302 on a 60-inch Samsung 1080 pixel Smart LED television. Receive a free Target gift card when you purchase any iPad mini or iPad Air. How about that GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition? Only $249.99 with a gift card offer. Visit www.target.com to view their Black Friday weekly ads and start purchasing now. Other electronic giants like Costco at 3250 Vernon Blvd. offer $130 instant savings off a Nikon L830 Digital Camera. Save $150 on a HP Envy 15.6 inch TouchSmart laptop with Beats Audio.
Other centers like the Shops at Atlas Park at 8000 Cooper Ave. will distribute a free gift to the first 250 shoppers who arrive at the Atlas Park holiday table. Retailers within Atlas Park will open, the earliest by Toys R Us at 6 a.m. and the latest, J.Jill and Laila Rowe, at 10 a.m. Visit www.shopatlaspark.com/events/BlackFriday_2014 for a complete viewing of retailers and their hours.
The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District is having a free kick-off party from noon to 1 p.m. at Bliss Plaza on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. Rachel Thieme, executive director of the BID, said that the organization is participating in Small Business Saturday because “the event raises our profile and we want to draw attention to the district.” She added, “We are also distributing the Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide featuring 22 shops in Sunnyside.”
Czarinna Andres, a board member of the BID and owner of Bing’s Hallmark at 45-15 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside, said her store is offering quite a few special deals, such as free gifts with any $50 or $100 purchase.
“We have a lot of specially priced items exclusive for that weekend including all our boxed cards and gift ornaments at buy one, get the second 50 percent off,” Andres said. “We will also be offering free gift wrapping for any gift item purchased in-store.”
It’s a special day for Megan Siefert, manager of Demi Hair Salon at 4701 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside because it is a way for the neighborhood “to get to know about our salon and products.”
“People go to CVS or Rite Aid for hair products because they think it is cheaper but sometimes, it is actually not,” she said. “The other plus of buying a product at our salon is that you can speak to a professional and get a product that’s right for your hair.” She is offering 20 percent off all services on that day, if clients mention the deal while making an appointment.
The Brass Owl, a boutique specializing in shoes, accessories and gifts at 3619 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, is pulling out all the stops: owner Nicole Panettieri said that she is offering special deals, free gifts and “refreshments throughout the day.”
Robert Briskin, owner of Alicia’s Jewelers in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, said some of the best holiday deals are at smaller shops like his.
“Small businesses suffer on Black Fridays because of the deals shoppers get in big box stores,” Briskin said. “On Saturdays, they come to their senses and realize that they can get better deals in smaller shops. We have low prices every day but on Small Business Saturday, we are offering 50 percent off on certain brands of watches such as Ebel, TechnoMarine and Bedat, among others.”
According to Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism, Queens Economic Development Corporation, “shop locally” is a very important concept.
“Local store owners are often extremely involved in their communities and invested in the success of their communities,” he said. “They tend to hire local people, support little leagues, organize cleanups, invest in improvements and even shop in the area themselves. They also pay taxes that municipalities need to provide services.”
Shopping locally is also a greener way to shop, he said. “You travel less when you go to the local store and burn less gas and waste less time.” Healthy stores attract other healthy stores, which is good for any neighborhood, he said.