Martha’s Vineyard + Black Friday = no pepper spray

November 25, 2011

When people think about Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving Thursday, the relevant images are usually retail carnage of some kind — barbarians at the gates of big-box retailers, fights over discounted merchandise, scuffles in the parking lots, trampled store employees, and (a new one this year) pepper spray being used to keep other people away from stuff that you want to buy. (What to do with all that leftover pepper spray when there aren’t any protesters around to disperse?)

That’s the mainland. In Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, retail works at a more genteel pace. There is no Walmart; there is no Target.

With a winter population of 15,007, compared with summer’s population of 105,624, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, you would imagine correctly that most of the shops shut down by this time of year. Not anymore. Now they stay open later, and even here among the white-walled Cape Cods, quaint old fishing captain houses and the massive mansions of the moneyed (Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, “You’re So Vain” singer Carly Simon and many more), Black Friday is here. But it’s smaller, and violence in the service of consumer satisfaction is something that people leave behind with their darker impulses “off island.”

This year, the temperature reached nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was brilliant sun, so when I walked down there on Friday, I saw about 100 people over an hour or so taking their early afternoon constitutionals along Main Street where many of Edgartown’s shops were open for business and doing big discounts.

I talked to some people, including  Rachel Romanowsky, a marketing manager for Jack Wills, a clothing store that specializes in items that “reflect British heritage and style.”

“There are more people out shopping, definitely,” she said, comparing it with last year, when more people — even among the wealthy — were fretting about their financial futures as the effects of the financial crisis and recession of the past few years played out. “Last year we hit our target, but it was nothing overwhelming. This year, we exceeded our targets early.”

She said the company was expecting $5,000 in sales at the Edgartown store on Friday, but at 2pm said that the store might exceed its target by 15 percent. She also said that the store was crowded at times on Friday. I asked what “crowded” meant. “About 10 people,” she said.

Pat Cooney, who with her husband John, comes from Ridgefield, Connecticut and has a house on the Vineyard, said that discounts have reached 50 percent if not more, including at the Rainy Day gift store.

“I’ve seen discounts of 30, 40, 50 percent. That’s not bad for something you don’t really need,” she said. “But I think everybody’s really watching what they’re spending. You say, ‘do I really need that ornament of a lighthouse?’”

Susan Catling of Edgartown Books was offering a discount of 20 percent. There were a few more people than usual in the store, but no crowds. I remarked that Edgartown is not quite the kind of place where you could imagine the Black Friday chaos of the mainland. Catling described the island’s shopping culture thusly:

“No one’s been pepper sprayed.”

(Photos: Robert MacMillan)

Comments

Are you kidding? Is this item meant to be satirical? I wonder if the year-round residents who don’t own summer homes can afford to shop “on island”. I’m glad at least the weather is nice.

Posted by ericol | Report as abusive
 

“No one’s been pepper sprayed.”

Well. I guess they have that going for them.

Posted by dgcasey0325 | Report as abusive
 

I intended no satire, though perhaps my tongue lodged in my cheek for an hour or two. I happened to be there to see my family for Thanksgiving, and as I worked on our Black Friday coverage, I started wondering what folks on the Vineyard do — the wealthy second-homers and the year-rounders. When I walked over to the town center to see, I found mostly wealthy people shopping during a time when the streets are normally more vacant at this time of year. I wondered if this was the Vineyard’s version of Black Friday, and then I just started rambling.

Posted by bobbymacReuters | Report as abusive
 

[...] Martha’s Vineyard + Black Friday = no pepper spray [...]

Posted by Penney CEO calls Martha Stewart deal a ‘”centerpiece” | Last Planet News – Daily News Magazine | Report as abusive
 

[...] Martha’s Vineyard + Black Friday = no pepper spray [...]

Posted by Penney CEO calls Martha Stewart deal a ‘”centerpiece” | Hour News – Daily News Magazine | Report as abusive
 

Blogs ou should be reading…

[...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

Posted by air purifier bacteria | Report as abusive
 

Websites we think you should visit…

[...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

Posted by http://www.debtconsolidation.net | Report as abusive
 

Nike Air Max Lunar90 Magnet Grey Photo Blue Magnet Grey Photo Blue

They are now 22 for thenike air force 1 mid 07 white betting preseason and going into the regular football betting season with more experience, fresh players air jordans size jerseys shop.

Posted by Nike Air Max Lunar90 Magnet Grey Photo Blue Magnet Grey Photo Blue | Report as abusive
 

Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article.Really thank you! Fantastic.

Posted by fishinglovers.net | Report as abusive
 

A big thank you for your article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

Posted by Acid Reflux | Report as abusive
 

wow, awesome blog article.Thanks Again.

Posted by Android games | Report as abusive
 

This is one awesome post.Really thank you! Want more.

Posted by Muay Thai | Report as abusive
 

I cannot thank you enough for the blog.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

Posted by Android apps | Report as abusive
 

I really like and appreciate your article. Cool.

Posted by Most Innovative Inventions | Report as abusive
 

I appreciate you sharing this article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

Posted by п»їhttp://columbiamortgageplace.com | Report as abusive
 

I value the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

Posted by п»їhttp://myrtlebeachmortgageplace.com | Report as abusive
 

Really informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

Posted by mortgage rates online | Report as abusive
 

Very good blog post. Really Great.

Posted by discover more | Report as abusive
 

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic post.Thanks Again. Great.

Posted by truck stops pa | Report as abusive
 

I really liked your blog article.Much thanks again. Want more.

Posted by п»їopera mini apk | Report as abusive
 

Really enjoyed this blog post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

Posted by Keith Mann | Report as abusive
 

I am so grateful for your article.Much thanks again. Great.

Posted by Jewelry Store Stuart | Report as abusive
 

Really enjoyed this post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

Posted by п»їM88 | Report as abusive
 

Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

Posted by locking wheelnut | Report as abusive
 

Awesome article post.Really looking forward to read more.

Posted by Muaythai data | Report as abusive
 

Really informative article.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

Posted by Muaythai detail | Report as abusive
 

Great, thanks for sharing this post.Much thanks again. Great.

Posted by tchat webcam gratuit meilleur site rencontres | Report as abusive
 

I used to be able to find good information from your content.

Posted by click this site | Report as abusive
 

Appreciate you sharing, great blog article.Much thanks again. Great.

Posted by male strippers | Report as abusive
 

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog post.Thanks Again. Great.

Posted by water ionizer reviews | Report as abusive
 

I cannot thank you enough for the article.Much thanks again. Want more.

Posted by Rencontres plan cul | Report as abusive
 

Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It’s the little changes that make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!

Posted by find out this here | Report as abusive
 

A big thank you for your blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

Posted by http://fishinglovers.net | Report as abusive
 

wow, awesome article. Really Cool.

Posted by tchat | Report as abusive
 

Wow, great blog article. Really Great.

Posted by plastic surgery gone wrong | Report as abusive
 

Im obliged for the article.Really thank you! Really Great.

Posted by Muay Thai website | Report as abusive
 

http://www.gp.se/fescvea

[...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]

Posted by http://www.gp.se/fescvea | Report as abusive
 

Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!

Posted by click for source | Report as abusive
 

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the website is really good.

Posted by read more | Report as abusive
 

Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

Posted by try here | Report as abusive
 

Aw, this was a really nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

Posted by have a peek at these guys | Report as abusive
 

I was able to find good info from your articles.

Posted by page | Report as abusive
 

Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

Posted by view | Report as abusive
 

Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a top notch article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

Posted by helpful resources | Report as abusive
 

I seriously love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal blog and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Kudos!

Posted by Source | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/