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Cyber Monday Appeals to Some in White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- If Greg Brown and Chris Dickens were inclined to do their holiday shopping early, they may have spent Monday browsing the web for Cyber Monday deals. Instead, the two procrastinated on gift shopping and hung out near the White Plains Library.

"It's probably safer to shop online. Did you hear about that woman who maced like 20 people to get to an xBox," said Brown, a Tarrytown resident who says he shops for a big family, but doesn't start until later in the season. "The only thing is you can't wear new clothes or try them on."

Dickens, a Yonkers resident, said he tends to remember his shopping list five days before Christmas and often resorts to wrapping the presents on the morning of Dec. 25.

"It might make sense," he said of Cyber Monday. "If you're buying electronics and stuff, it's cool. And you don't leave home."

Cyber Monday, a growing tradition where merchants offer discounts online the Monday after Thanksgiving, is both beneficial and taxing for local stores, according to Chris Konys, the general manager of White Plains' Sam Ash.

"In some ways it hurts steel and mortar stores, because it's just another day where people focus on sales online. But in some ways, it helps because people might shop around and then decide to come in," said Konys, who noted that few people would buy a guitar or another instrument without testing it out first.

However, Konys, who has worked at the Mamaroneck Avenue music shop for 18 years, said this Black Friday seemed to suggest people were feeling more financially secure.

"We were very busy. It's the busiest I've seen it in two years since the economy was hurt,' said Konys.

Although Alfred Menna, 38, said Cyber Monday "was a great idea" for allowing people to skip the long lines and access deals from home, the Silver Lake resident said America has become a bit shopping-crazed.

"To me, nothing should be open on the holidays. When I was a kid, nothing was open on Sundays or holidays. You'd be lucky if a deli was open half a day," said Menna. "I think we need to go back to those values."

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