VICTOR — Staying properly caffeinated is a key when it comes to Black Friday shopping, said Andrea Paine, of Conesus. Unfortunately, that task is easier said than done sometimes.
“All the coffee places were closed,” Paine said of her 3:30 a.m. trek Friday to Eastview Mall, in Victor. Paine’s first stop was to pick up headphones at a different store, then she returned to Eastview around 6 a.m. to rendezvous with her two teenage daughters, and a neighbor. She said the teens had been shopping since 10 p.m. Thursday.
While shoppers stayed up through the night getting post-holiday bargains on televisions, clothes and electronics, mall employees logged long hours to help out the Black Friday crowd.
Renee Rivera, a manager at the Eastview Build-A-Bear Workshop helped children and parents stuff teddy bears — with fluff and a tiny red heart — at 6:30 a.m. She had been at the store since 10:30 p.m. Thursday (they opened at midnight), and after six cups of coffee and a brief stint wearing a pink pony costume, she still had a smile on her face.
“We want to make sure people enjoy their visit,” Rivera said.
She added that the early morning crowd doesn't really faze the staff. The goal is to treat Black Friday — and parts of Thanksgiving — the same as any other day, Rivera said.
But for many shoppers, it’s not a normal day. For some, Black Friday is its own holiday.
Alisha and Brianna Juda, of Rochester, started their shopping at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Aftering swinging by Target to pick up a discounted 50-inch television for a relative, they regrouped — and replenished their Red Bull and Mountain Dew levels — at the Eastview food court around 7 a.m. Friday morning.
“It’s tradition, we go hard,” Brianna said. “And we start early.”
While the sisters enjoy the shopping tradition, they agreed that they preferred it when the Black Friday shopping was limited to Friday, and not something that cuts into family and friend gatherings on Thanksgiving.