Buried in boxes: New York doormen swamped by online holiday sales

Sat Dec 1, 2012 7:08am EST
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By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Record-breaking online sales this holiday shopping season are sending an avalanche of packages to New York City, where apartment building doormen are working hard to keep smiling amid the deluge.

With the arrival of the boxes coinciding with the year-end tipping season, that good cheer can translate into welcome cash.

"Wow! Look at all these boxes!" said doorman Ray Flores, 56, with a big grin as he waded through packages stacked thigh-high in the mail room of The Normandy, a 257-apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

This year's early holiday buying frenzy started with a bang as shoppers rang up nearly 17 percent more online sales on so-called Black Friday, compared with last year, and 30 percent more on so-called Cyber Monday, the biggest internet purchasing day in history.

Laden with those purchases, fleets of United Parcel Service vans, FedEx Corp trucks and United States Postal Service vehicles are pulling up to city buildings to disgorge their haul.

The daily load won't lighten until the last wave of unwanted gifts is returned in the new year.

"In the past few years, it's increasing and increasing and increasing, and this year, it's way up," said Michael Crespo, 65, a doorman at the Dorchester on the Upper West Side, where he said daily deliveries have quadrupled in the past week.

Around the corner, doorman David Morales, 38, said deliveries have doubled since the holiday buying began.   Continued...