SHOPPING DEALS: Millions Shopping Weekend Sales

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Millions are hitting the malls early this year, swapping Black Friday shopping for Thanksgiving shopping.

The National Retail Federation estimated that 33-million people started their holiday shopping on Thursday instead of Friday.

Many people here in the metro were willing to skip the turkey and pumpkin pie for the chance to save a few bucks.

Long before most people started cooking the turkey; Stephanie Deaton was camped out in front of the Best Buy on SE 14th Street.  Deaton said her goal was to be first in line for the Thanksgiving Day shopping so she stayed outside all night.

“I actually have two moving pads laid down, then I’ve got my comforter on top of that.  Then I have an electric blanket that I plugged in to an outlet that’s over here around Best Buy’s wall,” Deaton said.

Deaton is one of a handful of people who spent the night here.  She said she knows most people think she’s nuts.

“I’ve had people drive by and take my photo.  Then they laugh and drive away, which… it’s okay,” she said.

And after all, who is laughing? She bought her husband a $4,000 TV for only $2,000.

“To me, it’s well worth it.  It’s not like I’m only saving a couple of dollars.  If it was that, I wouldn’t do it,” she said.

Best Buy and Wal-Mart started sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed by Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Sears 8 p.m. opening.  That’s one hour earlier than last year for most of the 8 p.m. retailers.

At K-Mart, the doors will be open 41-hours straight, almost all day Thursday and all day Friday.  But some employees said they don’t mind too much.

“I don’t know, I like making money and I like my job.  So it’s always good, I’m really good at customer service so it’s always good to build relationships with my customers,” said K-Mart Clerk Dalton Carlstrom.

And many customers are happy to take advantage of the pre-Black Friday deals, even if they do feel a little guilty about it.

“I think for employees it’s probably important for them to be with their families and so I can see that.  But if you want to work on the holiday and maybe if you get paid extra, it might be worth it,” said shopper Amanda Schlotterback.

Roughly 97-million people are expected to flood stores nationwide for Black Friday deals, 61-million plan to hit the stores on Saturday.

But Monday is the day to stay home and shop.

Cyber Monday is just days away and 80 percent of retailers are expected to offer big deals for the day.  Consumers spend almost one-and-a-half billion dollars on that day alone.

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