Rochester, N.Y. - While big box stores dealt with snarling crowds, local stores in Rochester like Parkleigh and A Step Apart had a calmer atmosphere but were still just as busy.
“We had people outside the store probably about an hour before we opened today,” Parkleigh Operations Manager Daniel Mejak said.
Parkleigh shoppers hoped to get a free Vera Bradley tote bag with any $100 Vera Bradley purchase.
The store was so busy, workers directed traffic in its parking lot.
“Second stop, but the other one was a local shop in my neighborhood,” said shopper Diane Zielinski.
Zielinski was one of many shoppers on Black Friday, shopping local, hoping to snag a good deal.
“I do think of myself as a smart shopper, if they have prices that are competitive with the big box stores, I'd rather shop here,” Zielinski said.
“We like the variety, we like the different things they have here and we keep the money local,” said shopper Karen Moscato.
It's that variety, along with hand crafted items from local artists that set stores like A Step Apart from chain stores.
“For us, we're not limited to Black Friday,” Kurt Indovina with A Step Apart said. “We carry it on through the entire weekend.”
That’s a reason why many local businesses say there's no competition with larger stores; seeing no need to open any earlier.
“Thanksgiving is a holiday and we look at it as, we work really hard all year long, the few days that we have to be with our families and let our staff be with their families and we do,” Mejak said.