Online convenience means shorter lines for Black Friday shoppers

Posted November 24, 2016

— After the turkey dinner, the focus for many turns to shopping and several stores were open and ready for holiday shoppers Thursday evening.

The Best Buy at the Triangle Town Center in Raleigh had a line down the sidewalk and people at the front had already been waiting for hours when the store opened at about 5 p.m.

People poured in with catalogs in hand and all of them had already mapped out what they came to grab.

Some had TVs on their list while others waited for a good deal on a computer. In some cases, shoppers planned to save hundreds of dollars in door-buster discounts.

The veteran bargain hunters who have participated in Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping for years said the lines seemed shorter this year.

They said door-buster deals are spread out over multiple days and, in some cases, some stores are offering the same deep discounts online.

“It definitely changes the game a little bit. A little bit more convenience, not having to fight lines and stuff,” said shopper Bryce Pauley.

Those who chose to show up and wait in line at Toys R Us were looking for the year's hot toys, including Hatchimals.

Even Kathy Hanrahan of WRAL's Out and About joined the line in the hopes of getting her hands on one of the toys.

"It comes in like an egg and then the egg hatches and they get out and then they run around and you teach them how to walk and how to talk," she explained.

Closer to the front of the line was Kristy McKoy, who has been bargain hunting around Thanksgiving for about 15 years. Over the past decades, she's noticed stores opening earlier and others offering their deals online.

"I have already done Walmart, Kohl's, Toys R Us, most of the stuff that is on sale started online Sunday," she said.

Thursday night, she was waiting on line at the store for a $1,600 swing set that was on sale for $800.

Some stores approached the shopping season differently this year. While Best Buy was packed Thursday evening, H.H. Gregg next door was closed for the holiday.


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