Black Friday Fever is in full swing around Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Ready, set, shop!

The doors flew open at the Best Buy on Gunn Highway in Tampa at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon and for hundreds of customers, it was a mad dash to get their products and hit the register.

Hundreds of people lined up outside the front door. Some of them had been there since early this morning.

News Channel 8 spoke with people who wanted to grab those door busters and make sure they got what they came for.

We asked Adam Montgomery of Tampa how he was able to run in the store and then have all of his goods in less than five minutes. “Just ran right to it, found it, you know, they helped us find it, so it was good,” Montgomery said as he held electronics in his hands.

Chelsey Henderson of Tampa also took just five minutes to get her items and get to the register.

“I researched it ahead of time,” she said.

Tonya Stephens stood in line since 5 a.m. It was her first time waiting for a store to open and she said, “I had a good time.”

We asked her daughter, Robyn, what was so important that she felt they needed to get to the store so early. “It’s the TV’s, of course. I feel like everybody comes for TV’s.”

When asked why she came today, Jessica Laird of Tampa told News Channel 8, “For sales, I mean it’s $400 off. I need it for school and I’m here for it.”

Best Buy is not one of the many stores that have bucked the trend in recent years.

Many stores have decided to return to the traditional Back Friday as the start of the holiday shopping season.

More lines Thursday night at Tampa Premium Outlets as long lines outside stores like Coach and Michael Kors had people patiently waiting, including Tilcia Lausier and her daughter, Christina, of Riverview.

“You cannot miss that,” Tilcia told News Channel 8. “It’s fun.”

We asked her daughter what was so important on her list that she needed to buy it on Thanksgiving. “The great sales, especially Michael Kors,” Christina said.

Rudy Esquivo of the Sunglass Hut told News Channel 8 he was surprised at just how many customers came through the store today.

“That’s right,” he said. “You gotta’ come out and shop. It’s tradition. No. This is like the Superbowl. You gotta come out here. It’s the World Series. This is what you got to be out here for.” 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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