A heavily advertised weekend electronics sale kicked off Friday with a small disturbance and at least one fight.
The three-day sale from out-of-state vendors led to a long line in the Friday cold at its noontime opening, with some people anxious to get into the Crosstown Plaza sale.
Police were called when the crowd became hostile as the doors didn’t open on time. Police also went there later Friday to ensure promoters obtained the proper permits from the town. Town Clerk Eunice Esposito confirmed Friday afternoon that the proper $50 solicitors permit had not been obtained.
The Friday disturbance came when some in the crowd began getting hostile as the store failed to open by noon, Rotterdam Police Lt. Mike Brown said. By the time police arrived, the doors had opened and relative calm had returned, he said.
A brief fistfight, however, broke out after police left, possibly over a parking spot. Authorities said the area would get extra attention for the rest of the day.
The sale was being held in the former Sears store on the Rotterdam end of the plaza. The other end of the plaza is in Schenectady.
The exact name of the promoters was not clear Friday. A man directing people inside, to whom a reporter was referred, said they were there to “sell some merchandise.” The outfit was out of Columbus, Ohio, he said, and the name was on the sign. A sign read only “Super Liquidation Sale.” He also gave his name only as “Steve.”
An official with the state Department of Taxation and Finance said Friday such shows are governed by tax law with tax certificates required for individual vendors. Regulators often drop in to check if they are properly certified.
Show promoters must register with the department before a fourth show in a calendar year.
Stephanie Davis, 25, of Albany, came to the sale Friday hoping to buy a flat-screen television or a computer.
She was in line when the fistfight broke out nearby. She called the fight “crazy.”
“It’s supposed to be real good discounts,” Davis said of why she came, “apparently good enough that they’re fighting.”
Shopper William Dumont, however, left disappointed. He came all the way from Glens Falls with his sister and her children. They arrived at 10 a.m., waiting in the cold for two hours, hoping for good deals.
When they finally got inside, his assessment of the deals was that there weren’t many. They left empty handed.
“It was really cold,” he said of the wait. “It was definitely not worth it.”