Sunday, November 25, 2012
Have you trimmed your spending because of the economy or has good fortune enabled you to spend more?
Many of you might already be done with your holiday shopping. Still others might be waiting for even better deals that sometimes pop up prior to Christmas. But how does your spending compare to prior holiday seasons? Those who have lost jobs due to the economy, who feel their jobs might be threatened or who have suffered other setbacks might be a little tighter with the purse strings than someone who just got that promotion. With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday over, and Cyber Monday waiting for a business surge tomorrow, you should have a pretty good handle on your 2012 holiday budget. So how much do you plan to spend this holiday season? Let us know by voting in our poll. And tell us in the comments section why you are spending …
Friday, November 23, 2012
Stuck in a traffic jam? Standing in line? Or sailing right through a checkout? Share your photos and experiences from the busiest shopping day of the year
For bargain-hunters, this is the big day. Are you braving the crowds today at the Ross Park Mall, the Cranberry Mall or Cranberry Commons? Snag a great deal—or at least a parking spot in the same zip code—at the Mall at Robinson, Robinson Towne Centre or another area shopping hot spot? What deals brought you to the stores? What's your best, worst or most surprising experience so far? Oh, and how's the Black Friday traffic out there in Wexford and around the Sewickley Valley? Share your photos of the fun. Click the "Upload photos and videos" button to get started. Then share your bargains, experiences and tips in the comments.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
From parking, to planning ahead, to protecting your new purchases—how to make the most of Black Friday.
'Tis the season to shop, shop, shop. Black Friday actually begins on Thanksgiving night at several of the big retailers. So how can you make sure you get the most out of this most intense of shopping seasons? Start by planning ahead, and be careful with those bags of newly purchased merchandise. “It’s a smart idea to map out your shopping route for Black Friday and throughout December to avoid rushes," said Kristen Sicilia, who works at Macy's in Ross Park Mall. "You also want to keep track of your bags when you are shopping because usually someone is around the corner looking at them already.” Kristen had several other suggestions: For those of you who want avoid the crowds, shopping online is a great alternative and often offer the same…
Thursday, November 1, 2012
It used to be Black Friday was for the earliest of birds. Not anymore.
It's only one day past Halloween (with trick or treating still to come), but it's already starting to look a lot like Christmas around the Cranberry area. Yup, the early birds no longer wait until Black Friday to do their holiday shopping. This year, Black Friday is on Nov. 23, but big retailers and mail-order companies are starting well in advance. Amazon, for example, is beginning its Black Friday on Nov. 14. Step into the local Target, Bed Bath & Beyond or Lowe's and you'll see a full array of Christmas items. Some people, no doubt, will be purchasing gift cards from the most popular establishments in the Cranberry area, listed as our Cranberry Patch 2012 Readers' Choice Award Winners. Crazy or crazy smart? Just how early is too early …
In Cranberry, Best Buy and Target begin matching prices of online retailers beginning Nov. 1.
So, you just can't wait to get your Christmas 2012 gift-shopping groove on? And you see great deals online, but you just don't trust the postal service—or your own ability to guess sizes? You don't have to wait until Black Friday to get some deals. Best Buy's announcement that it will allow in-store customers to price-match online retailers by showing the price on their smartphones has been matched by Target and Super Target, according to BFAds.net, a website devoted to Black Friday and gift-shopping alerts. Among other online retailers, the stores will match prices of Amazon.com, Walmart.com,Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com Best Buy's price-matching begins Nov. 4, while Target's begins today, Nov. 1. Best Buy is located in the Cranberry …
Yes, already—even before Black Friday. We know the Christmas shopping tends to get done earlier every year in Cranberry and everywhere else. So, here's your chance to tell your friends and family what Christmas gift you want in 2012.
Head to Target, Bed Bath & Beyond or Lowe's Home Improvement or any nearby stores and you'll see that it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas 2012 in and around the Cranberry Area. All kinds of gift ideas are out there. For totally local, you can get to Plumberry Gifts in Cranberry, a specialty retailer that sells a variety of mostly handcrafted items produced largely by area artisans. There's also the trendy Eye Kandy boutique in Harmony. Maybe the big box stores are your thing? Walmart has already announced it is offering layaway again this year, with the iPad and HP Ultrabook-based laptops on the list of eligible purchases. The store has changed the policy on its open fee, which is kept if you ultimately can't pay for the …
Monday, November 28, 2011
For consumers, today is the internet equivalent of Black Friday. Our Patch Poll wants to know: Will you be shopping online today?
We have to wonder who comes up with these numbers, but the dollar-counting experts say that shoppers spent $52 billion in retail stores on Black Friday. (Can you imagine the chaos if that were all at the Dollar Store?) After all that, we wonder who has any money left over for more shopping. The same experts are predicting that Americans will spend another cool $1 billion today shopping online. We actually enjoy shopping for jammies while wearing our jammies, and it looks like we won't be alone. We are wondering whether you will be sitting down in front of your computer for some gift buying today. Vote in our Patch Poll, please. We'll bring you the results tomorrow.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
We took a show of hands: Who thinks stores should be open for the holiday? The 'No' votes won in a landslide.
For many chain stores, Thanksgiving Day provided only a brief pause from the daily routine. By late afternoon Thursday, "big-box" retailers and some specialty chain stores were saying adios to the holiday and opening their doors. Did you see the mad rush on the news? Shoppers who had been waiting in line all day burst through the open doors like young parents pushing strollers through the opening gates at Disney World. Sounds like they wanted to nab big-screen TVs, which were being sold 10-for-a-penny or something like that. Although the Black Friday rush in Western Pennsylvania appeared to be orderly for the most part, that was not the case everywhere. In other states, a woman used pepper spray on a competing shopper, and a police …
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, is the busiest shopping day of the year and kicks off the holiday shopping season. As early as Thursday evening, shoppers from Cranberry to North Hills to Robinson, came out with one common goal—a good deal.
Mere hours after taking their last bites of Thanksgiving dinner, thousands of area bargain hunters awakened from their food comas and headed to malls and box stores in hopes of snagging at least a few Black Friday deals. “I dragged them,” Lorraine Boyer joked, pointing to her two daughters, Marie Johnston and Michelle Giovango. “I’ve been dragging them for 12 years.” “It’s a tradition. It’s nice to go out with family,” daughter Marie Johnston added. They weren't alone. By 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening, every parking space was taken in the Toys R’ Us and Walmart parking lots in Cranberry. Lines stretched around the block as eager shoppers waited for doors to open and the 2011 holiday shopping season to begin. Cranberry residents Boyer, …
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
There’s no need to wait outside in the cold for stores to open at 4 a.m. when you can just fire up your computer.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that I don’t have to join the throngs of shoppers waiting in the wee hours of the morning outside of Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s and other retail stores. Call me Scrooge, but I hate shopping during the holiday season. I enjoy giving gifts to my family, friends and coworkers, but I hate the hot, crowded stores and long lines. I especially dislike dealing with the frazzled nerves of other shoppers and store personnel. I speak from experience, of course. I spent one Christmas season during college working in retail. That was enough for me. It was not a pleasant experience. A few years ago, I had to run out to a local superstore on a Sunday afternoon just days before Christmas. The store was jam packed, and it was …