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Local Merchants Above Black Friday Fray; Look Forward to Small Business Saturday

Several local merchants say their customers are looking for different fare than offered by big retailer Black Friday promotions.

With all the fuss about midnight openings, overnight lines and stampede sales, it would be easy to worry about the impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday on smaller local businesses.

But at least a few local shopkeepers say their service and unique stock keep them out of the Black Friday fray.

"They're not my customers," said Adam Zuckerman. The merchandise he carries at his shop on Purchase Street in Rye is more upscale and unique than the dungarees available in the mall. His store will be open regular hours today. "It's just a normal Friday."

Jeff Landsberg says his Rye Brook jewelry boutique in offers a different level of service that customers seek out. While mall stores sell jewelry, Landsberg says is a cut above.

"We evaluate and sell," Landsberg said. "We are actually high-end recyclers and architects." Unlike chain stores or depatment jewelry departments, he says their boutique can actually educate customers about the metals and stones, make repairs, even custom design jewelry. And usually at better value than malls offer.

"I've been in this business 35 years," said Landsberg. "My father has been doing this for 65 years, he still works six days a week at our Manhattan store."

Despite their history, Landsberg still does everything they can to compete in the new marketplace. "We send email blasts; we have a Facebook page and a Twitter account."

For Black Friday weekend, the jewelry store will offer a 40 percent discount on select merchandise.

Small Business Saturday is a program Landsberg Jewelers plans to participate in as well. "We have aligned with them," said Landsberg. Though he hadn't made a formal connection to the program, Zuckerman said he had also noticed a positive effect on business as a result of the promotion.

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