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Bargain seekers get jump on Black Friday

Stores are opening earlier than ever and the mad dash for Christmas bargains is already on, and retailers are desperate for shoppers' business. NBC's John Yang reports from Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

 

The Thanksgiving holiday isn't stopping some shoppers from lining up at major U.S. retailers trying to get a jump on Black Friday.

Many stores including Toys R Us will open as early as 9 p.m. local time Thursday while Macy's, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's will open at midnight. Walmart slated “doorbuster” deals for 10 p.m. even though they were open Thursday along with Old Navy and Kmart.

The National Retail Federation says over 150 million people will spend money on Christmas-related gifts this year. And many are looking for markdowns.

Bargain hunters were already lining up, some having camped out since Wednesday night.


 

In Pittsburgh, for example, TV station WTAE found many people already waiting in line outside the Monroeville Best Buy at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette displayed a photo of three friends in a tent outside at a Homestead Best Buy.

In Indianapolis, http://www.wthr.com/story/16117792/shoppers-hit-stores-early-in-hopes-of-black-friday-deals">NBC station WTHR reported the Meijer grocery and department store was jammed at noon. Some were shopping for last-minute dinner items, but others had lined up at 6 a.m. for a deal on iPads.

Anthony Pierluissi told WTHR that waiting in line for the deals is a family tradition - not just for shopping. “We make it a family thing," he said. "We all go out together and get stuff."

Paul J. Richards/AFP - Getty Images

Brent Hart, 26, camps out Wednesday in advance of Black Friday on the sidewalk of the Fair Lakes Best Buy store in Fairfax, Virginia.

Brent Hart, 26, began camping out Wednesday on the sidewalk of the Fair Lakes Best Buy store in Fairfax, Virginia.

He was fifth in line and planned to purchase a $200 42 inch flat-screen TV and a $299 laptop. Hart is a military contractor leaving in December for Afghanistan and said he wants the laptop to stay in touch with his family.

NBC station WVTM in Birmingham, Ala., found more than two dozen people lined up at the Homewood Kmart store when it opened at 6 a.m. CST for pre-Black Friday deals.

Retailers concede the pressure is on.

"At the end of the day, we are trying to respond to what our customers want to do, and they are telling us that's when they want to shop," Mike Vitelli, president, Americas and enterprise executive vice president of Best Buy, told Reuters.

Two malls are testing a new system that tracks shoppers' movements from store to store by monitoring 'pings' from their cellphones. KNSD's Tony Shin reports.