Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States with an estimated 138 million consumers expected to hit stores, looking for bargains. Forest Hills businesses are getting ready for the onslaught, hiring extra employees and stocking up on popular merchandise.
This year, Forest Hills shop owners might be in for one little setback: of the many residents polled on Austin Street this week, not one had any purchasing plans.
"I hate the crowds," said Lindsay Reyes. "I like to go when there's nobody around."
Reyes might stop in an electronics store on Black Friday, but that would only be out of pure necessity.
"It's too crazy, and I can't wake up that early," said Sabina Yasmin, who prefers the Queens Center Mall on other days. "I can't fight through people fighting over products, and the lines are too long."
Elayne Rodriguez said that she would never, ever — under any circumstances whatsoever — step inside a store on Black Friday, especially now that technology makes it unnecessary.
"I mostly shop online," she said.
Afiah Mathison loves sneaker-hunting and can easily be talked into a trip to Niketown in Manhattan. But she decided to cease all commercial activity on Black Friday after 2008, when Walmart customers in Valley Stream trampled temporary store worker Jdimytai Damour to death in their haste to get to the bargains.
"People go that crazy for materialistic things. I don't want to be a part of it," she said.
She added two other reasons: She doesn't need anything immediately, and her Christmas list is far from complete.
Nevertheless, manager Manny Abello reported that e will have three times the normal number of attendants on Black Friday. He thinks the Austin Street outlet will do as much as 18 percent of its yearly sales that day.
A couple of doors down at , Rebekah Esain informed that the store will open at 6 a.m., four hours earlier than normal, and will probably sell four times as much merchandise as average. Prices will be extremely reduced, too, for some extra incentive.
So will they shop or won't they?
Outside Katherin McGraeth informed that she plans to spend time with her family that day, but she she's not ruling out a trip.
"I love sales," she said.