VIDEO: Black Friday Sales Target Shoppers in U.S. and Canada
Black Friday got off to its earliest start ever as American shoppers put down their turkey and headed straight to the malls.
Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving that's named Black Friday because it's traditionally when they turn a profit for the year. In fact, generations of shoppers have made Black Friday rituals of going to bed early after munching on turkey and pumpkin pie so that they can head out to stores early the next day.
But Black Friday openings have crept earlier and earlier over the past few years as stores have experimented with ways to compete with online rivals like Amazon.com that can offer holiday shopping deals at any time and on any day. And this year, crowds gathered across the country as stores such as Target and Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving evening, while retailers from Macy's to Best Buy opened their doors at midnight on Black Friday.
About 11,000 shoppers were in lines wrapped around Macy's flagship store in New York City's Herald Square when it opened.
NewsTalk 1010's own Suzette Francis was there, saying she packed her patience and was ready for the long haul, but re-iterated it was her first time going out at midnight.
We spoke to her after 3 a.m. on Friday after all her shopping was done, and wondered if it was worth it? "This is the first time I went out at midnight, but definitely the last time I'm doing that. I can wait until 6 or 7 o'clock any other year to go out. I am not doing this ever, every again."
Retailers are hoping that the earlier openings will help boost sales this holiday season.
In Toronto, the Eaton Centre will open its' doors at 6 a.m. on Friday in the hopes of enticing Canadians to do some Black Friday shopping of their own, right at home.
(partial files by AP)