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Black Friday shopping starts early

Posted November 25, 2010

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— For some deal seekers, Black Friday shopping began on Thanksgiving Day – or even earlier.

Jasper and Cynthia Taylor stood in line for the late Thursday night opening at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield. It was the 17th year the couple had been at the outlet mall, looking for deals on Christmas presents.

"The things we do for our kids," Cynthia Taylor said.

Carolina Premium Outlets has been opening at midnight on Thanksgiving Day for a decade, but this year, some stores opened as early as 9 p.m.

"This is the first night we have a few stores opening earlier, and I have feeling that is going to catch on," Linda Crowder, with the outlet mall, said.

Post-Thanksgiving shopping kicks off at Smithfield outlets Post-Thanksgiving sales kick off at Smithfield outlets

The Sears store in Cary Towne Center was open on Thanksgiving, although the mall itself was closed.

"Two o'clock, when you're having dinner, I'm sitting in front of the stores," shopper Pam Hopkins said.

James Blair and his sons were the first in line outside the Best Buy store in Garner. They got there at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and had Thanksgiving dinner off the hood of a car Thursday.

The line had grown to more than 10 people by Thursday afternoon. Best Buy employees planned to hand out tickets to people in line two hours before the 5 a.m. opening on Friday.

Blair – who's shopped Black Friday sales for 16 years – said it was important to be first.

"You can be five people in back, and they've already sold out before the store opens," he said. "You can stand in line for 20 hours and still not get what you want."

Shoppers said they were hoping to score one of the $189 laptops advertised by Best Buy. The advertisement said the store might have only three laptops for sale at that price.

"I'll feel real good then, just to know my time wasn't wasted," Blair said.

Retailers expect 138 million Americans to hit the malls this weekend and spend at least $200 per person – a 2.5 percent increase over 2009 holiday spending.

Sears manager Greg Todloski said that Black Friday deals and the holiday shopping season are important for stores' bottom line.

"This is where probably the majority of retail money is made, in the months of November and December," Todloski said. Black Friday shopping 'Thanksgiving' sales start before holiday

He recommended that shoppers plan ahead for Black Friday, pinpoint the deals they want and start early.

"At of the times, there are limited quantities, so if you know exactly what you want, go get want you want, and hopefully, you can beat some of the crowds," he said.

Hopkins, a self-described die-hard Black Friday shopper, said that being first in can pay off. Two years ago, it earned her a $129 laptop, she said.

"Go get that chair, and sit in line, and be the first one," Hopkins said.

Mall hours on Black Friday

Carolina Premium Outlets: midnight Thursday–10 p.m. Friday

Cary Towne Center: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

Crabtree Valley Mall: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Cross Creek Mall: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

The Streets at Southpoint: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

Tanger Outlet Mall: midnight Thursday–10 p.m. Friday

Triangle Town Center: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

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  • bigal02282 Nov 25, 2010

    And here I thought that Thanksgiving was a holiday for families and friends to get together. I didn't realize that it was to give thanks for up to 50% off. One of these days people are going to get fed up with Christmas commercialism starting just after Easter in the chase for the almighty dollar and figure out what the holidays are all about. Naaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • toocutefb Nov 25, 2010

    well if it so important to the stores to make money why would you only have 3 laptops at that prices...why not more...

  • working for deadbeats Nov 25, 2010

    The last place I'm going tomorrow is a store.....

    Saving $2 bucks is NOT worth the hassle.

  • anneonymousone Nov 25, 2010

    I make it a point to buy what I need and what I want at locally owned businesses first and foremost all year long, but especially at this time of year. I know that money spent at these bookstores, restaurants, and other shops helps rebuild the local economy more than money spent at chain stores.

    I wish someone would name this time of year "Be Extra Kind to Wait Staff and Retail Employees" Season; I've seen customers forget that employees are people.

  • quaten Nov 25, 2010

    If retailers were smart, they would promote an online "friday" event as well. Potentially, it could bag more sales than in-store sales. Offering discounts on shipping/delivery plus discounts for the "friday" sell, would save both the seller and the buyer a bunch of hassle. The retailer can ship directly from warehouse or manufacturer, saving the cost of shipping to site and managing site inventory.

    But then again, nothing compares to geting up early, going to Denny's for breakfast, and getting in line for "Friday Discounts". It's not so much the bargain - it's the adventure.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 25, 2010

    this is marvelously pathetic.

  • ugottabkiddinme Nov 25, 2010

    wow!! just when you start to think your life needs more purpose...a story like this comes along and tells you that maybe yours isnt so bad after all...haha