ATLANTA - Shoppers were out in full force early Black Friday morning throughout metro Atlanta.
Long lines began to wrap around stores earlier than usual, with some stores opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Channel 2’s Darryn Moore spoke to shoppers outside the Best Buy store in Dunwoody. The lines were long, but some said it was well worth the wait for the clock to strike midnight.
“You really have to know what you’re getting beforehand. You just can’t come blindsided. You have to know where it is in the store and where you are going to run to,” one shopper said.
TVs and video games were on the top of many people’s lists.
Moore spoke to Kennesaw State University economists about how big of an impact this year’s Black Friday could have on the economy.
“What’s going to be big is electronics, tablets; gift cards are going to be off the chart,” assistant professor of marketing Randy Stuart said.
Stuart said that indicates that retailers are expected to have much better sales this year over last.
“(They are) predicting about a four to five percent increase over last year,” Stuart said.
Stuart said people’s desire to literally run to spend money this year is good news for retailers.
Channel 2’s crews also spotted long lines at the Toys R Us in Alpharetta, which also offered door buster sales. Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri was at Lenox Square, where cars waited in long lines just to get into the parking lot.
Channel 2 photographer Alan Hand captured the scene in the women’s shoe department at the Belk store on Dallas Highway in west Cobb. Shoppers there scrambled to pick up $20 pairs of boots.
Target also offered big sales for shoppers willing to line up on Thanksgiving. Lines were wrapped around the building at several area locations.
Channel 2’s Amanda Cook spent Friday morning at the Target on Cobb Parkway in Marietta, where shoppers said they were aiming to buy TVs and tablets.
Channel 2's Liz Artz found people who started their Black Friday shopping at 6 a.m. Thursday morning at a Cobb County Kmart.
Emily Morgalis told Artz she wasn't fighting the crowds of Black Friday and was getting a jump start on the craziness that's sure to come.
"Probably end up out tomorrow too, trying to get a big TV at some point," Morgalis said.
The Morgalis family has made a tradition of Black Friday shopping that starts earlier and earlier every year. Some have already dubbed Thanksgiving as Grey Thursday.
"I didn't really like it because people are getting a jump start in front of me," Morgalis said.
More than 400 people lined up behind her for door buster deals that started at 6 a.m. The biggest crowd store manager Bill Bonsar has seen in the 20 years the retail giant has opened Thanksgiving
"This morning we were up 50
to 60 percent over last year same time," Bonsar said.
Managers say Thursday's in-store sales stayed strong all day, still seeing that 60 percent by late afternoon.
"Not only are they going to be higher in store, but it's off the charts on
line," Bonsar said.
As of 4 p.m., Kmart's online sales had tripled from this same time last year.
Shamika Smith said she prefers camping out to surfing the web for that layaway option.
"I researched it, came up the only place doing layaway," Smith said.
Kmart is the only store that allows door buster items to go on layaway, another reason why managers said sales have been so high today.
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