MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The move by big retailers to open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving night -- or even earlier -- may be here to stay.
A spokeswoman at the Mall of America in Minneapolis says 30,000 people showed up for the mall's opening at midnight, compared with 20,000 last year. About 11,000 shoppers were in lines wrapped around Macy's flagship store in New York city when it opened at midnight -- up from an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 last year.
Still, not everyone has been taking advantage of the earlier-than-usual store openings on Black Friday.
Joe Russell was hunting for a great deal on a large screen TV and went to Best Buy store in Watertown, Mass., shortly after midnight. But he thought twice about it after seeing the long line of shoppers gunning for doorbuster promotions in freezing temperatures. Russell, who says this is earliest he's ever shopped, returned to the store after sunrise and got a different TV for "a decent price."
Yet, it won't be clear for a few days how many shoppers took advantage of Thanksgiving shopping hours. But according to an industry survey, about 17 percent of people said earlier this month that they planned to shop at stores that opened on Thanksgiving. Thirty-three percent intended to shop on Black Friday, down 1 percentage point from last year.