Black Friday deals lure customers on Thanksgiving

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Are people really celebrating Black Friday – on Thursday? Yep, that’s what the holiday has morphed into as stores try to capture your dollars.

At the Toys “R” Us in Clearwater, crowds swelled as Thursday’s 5 p.m. opening time drew near. Lines remained fairly long for hours.

“I prefer this cuz I’ve spent the night at places before. They started doing it on Thanksgiving, and I like it this way,” shopper Kim Hazelton said.

Opening on Thanksgiving means employees have to give up time with their families to man registers and stock shelves. “I feel bad for them, but I know some people prefer that. They get extra money, holiday money so they don’t want to be in the crowd; they want to be on the other side,” Hazelton said.

But others waiting to get in said they worry about employees. “All those people who do have to work on Thanksgiving, I kind of feel bad for them,” Lars Mathra said.

To save real money, you need Cheryl Cummings in your corner. She spied an item in the Toys “R” Us flier that she had paid more for at Sam’s Club. The item will go back to Sam’s.

The store stayed busy Thanksgiving night, but some figured out they didn’t have to be here. ”They’re doing the same online as they’re doing in the store. If I’d have known that I probably would have bought it online,” Joey Blute said.

Get used to it. Black Friday is now black Thanksgiving week. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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