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Black Friday Starts Early For Some Westchester Retailers

Shoppers will bombard retail centers around 4 a.m. on Black Friday for discounted goods.
Shoppers will bombard retail centers around 4 a.m. on Black Friday for discounted goods. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- While dishes are washed and leftovers stored after dinner this Thanksgiving, many Westchester shoppers will be putting on their warpaint for the annual holiday shopping crusade: Black Friday.

This year, though, there's a new wrinkle as some stores plan on opening as early as Thursday evening so shoppers can get their deals right after dessert. The new phenomenon is being called Gray Thursday.

Black Friday is traditionally regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season as retailers nationwide open their doors at the crack of dawn, or even earlier, to crowds lined around the block several times over to offer huge discounts and sales to any shopper who dares to enter the fray.

However, recent polling suggests beginning the Black Friday festivities on Thanksgiving may not prove as fruitful as these businesses would hope.

According to a nationwide poll by the University of Connecticut, many adults are unhappy with Black Friday's overlap into Thanksgiving Day.

Out of those polled, 49 percent disapprove of stores  opening on Thanksgiving, compared with 16 percent who approve, while 34 percent were neutral. Only seven percent of adults say they plan to shop on Thanksgiving.

Regardless of the numbers, local retail centers are still enthusiastic about their anticipated income, and seem prepared to handle whatever the crowds will throw at them.

Yonkers' Ridge Hill anticipates to be a major hub for the "holiday," with stores opening for the rush as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Ridge Hill will be offering free parking, and some stores will offer hot beverages and brunch to shoppers. Additionally, a two-pack of passes (1 adult and 1 child) to LEGOLAND Discovery Center will be given to the first 100 shoppers with purchase of $200 or more.

The Galleria Mall in White Plains and the Jefferson Valley Mall of Yorktown Heights, both owned by Simon Malls, will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday and stay open until 10 p.m. on Friday. 

“Our holiday schedule at The Galleria at White Plains is designed to meet our customers’ needs and reflect changing consumer behavior," said the mall's management in an email. "Extended holiday hours provide our customers better access to all of the great holiday deals at the mall.  We’re in the business of providing great experiences for our customers and this is an important way to meet their needs."

What do you think about "Black Friday," and now, "Gray Thursday"? Join the conversation below.

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