Stores launch Black Friday but pandemic woes persist


By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Retailers are expected to usher in the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season on Friday with larger crowds than last year in one step closer to normalcy. But the fallout from the pandemic continues to weigh on the minds of businesses and buyers.

Driven by strong hires, healthy salary gains and substantial savings, customers are returning to the stores and splurging on all types of items. But the spike also resulted in limited selection across the board as vendors and retailers were caught off guard.

Shortages of shipping containers and truckers have helped delay deliveries, while inflation continues to climb.

The combination of higher prices and a lack of inventory could make the mood less festive.

11 Ways to Avoid Getting Scammed While Shopping Holiday Online

Global shipping delays prompted shoppers to shop for holiday gifts earlier this year and much of the commerce is done online. After all, how do you avoid incredible deals? Now more than ever, these amazing deals are shady deals that seem genuine and safe.

One way to shop safely online is to buy from the websites of local vendors or visit sites like Etsy that sell small, meaningful freebies, often created by small businesses and artisans.

The Better Business Bureau recommends that online shoppers do some research before clicking the checkout button.

Here are 11 things you can do to avoid getting scammed online, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Take a peek inside the abandoned ShoppingTown mall in Dewitt, NY

Onondaga County currently owns the ShoppingTown mall located in Dewitt New York, near the Syracuse area. To this day, the mall is abandoned. The future of the building will go to someone who has the best vision of it. Onondaga County issued a formal request for proposals (RFP) for ShoppingTown Mall. The property will be sold back to the buyer with the best plan for revitalizing the vacant property.

The proponents will need to have a proven track record in producing “high quality projects,” the statement said. They will also have to produce financial information related to the project. “

Jordan Harmon was able to tour the property and take many photos recently courtesy of Onondaga County:

The main purpose of this shoot was to document this historical structure before any changes occurred. I grew up with this mall, I remember coming here when I was a kid. This was where my family did our back-to-school groceries and where I spent my money in Fun Junction playing laser tag. To see him now is shocking to say the least. The former mall owner clearly made no effort to maintain it, let alone stop the hundreds of roof leaks.

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