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Local Shops Are Optimistic On Black Friday

Black Friday brings us a plethora of advertising and special offers via TV, catalogs and the internet, but how does the immediate future look for local businesses? 

MaryAnn Arlia, who owns Somers Discount Wine & Spirits with her husband, Louis, says, “I’m always optimistic. As a business owner, I have to be. As the old saying goes, if you’re making money it’s a good day. 

“Black Friday is not a big liquor business day. Our holiday season started the Monday before Thanksgiving. We’ll be busy now right through New Years." 

However, the economic downturn has made “a difference in the way people shop. Everyone is trading down, going from premium wines to the more commercial brands. 

“We like to have a rounded selection. We’re big on California, Italian and French wines. But a lot of good wines are coming out of South Africa. And also Malbec -- it’s a good wine at good value.”

Jack Wang of the United Parcel store says, “We’re always going to be busy for the holiday season.” UPS is reliable, he adds. “We’ll have a smooth experience for every customer.”

North Salem residents Ginny and Ken Ryan, just beginning their sixth year as owners of Somers Custom Framing, are expecting a good holiday season. “We have a lot of repeat customers,” says Ginny. “We have great merchandise at great prices. And we gift wrap!”

The store’s name, Somers Custom Framing, is somewhat misleading. In addition to offering an extensive selection of framing materials and expert advice, the Ryans carry a selection of clothing, gifts, and baby items. They even have books for sale, “because so many bookstores have closed.” 

John Conneally, co-owner of Somerfields restaurant for over 15 years, is a little less optimistic. “People are being more cautious,” he says. “They’re cutting out things like eating out. October and November were better for us this year than last year, so that’s encouraging. We’ve had some inquiries about company parties this year, but it seems like people don’t want to be bothered. Maybe they’ll have more parties at home. 

“If they call on us to cater it, that’d be great.”

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