PLATTSBURGH — Annual Boxing Day sales brought out plenty of post-Christmas shoppers.
Ken Porter, a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, was home for the holidays to visit his family in Lake Placid. He has been back for eight days and is due to return Dec. 30.
Porter relished the opportunity to spend the holidays with his family and his new wife, whom he married just before Christmas. They are expecting a baby on April 2.
“Christmas was perfect. All I needed was (to spend time with) family and shopping for the baby,” he said while at Champlain Centre mall in Plattsburgh.
That isn’t likely to be the case next year, as he’s scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in July.
Porter said this was his first Boxing Day shopping experience. He was pleased with the prices he found at the mall, as well as the atmosphere.
“Everything’s been 30 percent to 50 percent off,” Porter said. “Surprisingly, it’s not as packed as I thought it would be.”
He said his Christmas shopping increased dramatically this year, as his wife has a much larger family than he does.
“There’s a lot of people to buy for. I went from six people to about 30,” Porter said.
DOWN FROM CANADA
Jean Latreille of Montreal was shopping in Plattsburgh with a friend. He doesn’t often go on shopping excursions like this, even back at home, he said.
“It’s for fun. It’s like a vacation for us,” he said.
The main drawback to shopping Wednesday was too many people, Latreille said, adding that he had a 45-minute wait at the border on Interstate 87 in Champlain.
Latreille was shortly joined by his friend, Dorotea Pok, also of Montreal. She said this was her first Boxing Day shopping experience ever, but she was pleased with the deals she found.
“It’s been very good so far. I’ve only started,” she said. “I hope to have many more stops.”
USING GIFT CARDS
Sharelle Phillips of Plattsburgh was at the mall to shop using some gift cards she received for Christmas.
“I have to spend them the day after,” she said of her routine.
Shopping on Boxing Day is an annual event, Phillips said. She also comes out in early January when more sale prices are available.
Sweatshirts and coats were on her list but were not her primary desire.
“It’s definitely shoes. I’m always looking for shoes,” Phillips said.
She was pleased to see many prices reduced 50 to 75 percent.
“All the coats and gift sets are on sale. That’s a good deal,” Phillips said.
She spent a little less on Christmas this year and tried to take advantage of pre-Christmas sales as much as possible.
Amy Kech of Mineville was waiting on a bench with her son, Robbie Kech, as her daughters and her mother shopped. Shopping on Boxing Day is not an annual experience, but she has done it from time to time in the past.
“I’m looking for clothes and shoes,” she said. “We also got some video games for the boy (Robbie).”
He fervently nodded his head in the affirmative when asked if he was excited to get home and play the games.
Kech said she spent about the same amount of money on Christmas presents this year as in the past. The mall was their only stop in Plattsburgh for the day.
“We found some good sales today. We’re probably headed home after this.”
’WHAT GIRLS DO’
Amanda Wilson from West Plattsburgh and Erica Thompson from Morrisonville were shopping together. Wilson had some gift cards to use and was walking the mall to see what sale prices were available.
The mall was their only stop, she said, and they were pleased that the crowds were not too bad.
Thompson said it wasn’t sale prices that brought her out.
“I’m not paying too much attention,” she said. “I’m just shopping. That’s what girls do.”
Email Dan Heath: firstname.lastname@example.org