WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More retailers opened their doors Thanksgiving Day to offer early holiday shopping deals.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, shoppers took advantage of the deal around the clock. They flooded the Kmart in Midtown Thursday night – getting a jumpstart on Black Friday instead of resting up for the occasion.

Some admitted feeling a little guilty carving out this time away from family on Thanksgiving.

“It’s unethical,” said Samantha Peterkin-Burkett. “I really, really feel bad.”

But others had no reservations, and they joined an estimated 25.6 million Thanksgiving Day shoppers.

And every year the number grows, impacting the bottom line for Black Friday merchants.

“I think having more stores open on Thanksgiving Day takes away from Black Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” said Dana Telsey of the Telsey Advisory Group. “It extends and spreads out the amount of shopping that’s done.”

Some shoppers said they find a way to make everything work.

“I still get time enough to go get dinner with my family,” said one man named Dwayne.

MORE: Best Time To Shop On Black Friday

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith also found a huge crowd lined up Thursday night at a Walmart in Linden, New Jersey. They had all pushed turkey to the backburner to cash in on savings.

Lisa from Elizabeth had a cart filled to the brim. She made off with a slow cooker, pajamas, toys, and a big clock.

“I did great – great,” she said. “I’ve been here since 2 o’clock. I did a good job.”

Carey, also from Elizabeth, said a deal on a new television made spending Thanksgiving shopping all worthwhile.

“It’s very cheap – 50-inch for $218,” she said. “You can’t beat that.”

A huge crowd also formed in front of the door at Macy’s Herald Square, 1010 WINS’ Darius Radzius reported. Shoppers came from as far away as Pennsylvania and Boston.

And as CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, many shoppers at the Garden State Plaza said they did indeed find plenty of deals too good to pass up.

“Thirteen piece cookware for like, $30,” said Don Chu.

“Coffee makers for $10,” said Minna Zhang.

Cekuan James of Teaneck found a pair of Ugg slippers for his girlfriend and a pair of moccasins for his sister.

And some people were buying for themselves too.

“I got a Michael Kors bag,” a woman said. “It was really good — they gave me 20 percent off.”

The action started before dawn. About a dozen people were waiting in line Thursday when the White Plains Kmart opened at 6 a.m., CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“Dinner’s not until about like 4 o’clock, so we’ve got a lot of time to go shopping,” said shopper Kayla Span said.

“I’m glad they’re here so we can get their merchandise,” another woman said.

The Kmart, which had expected a steady stream of people throughout the day, is one of several stores and malls opening Thursday in the area. In New Jersey, the Westfield Garden State Plaza and Paramus Park malls was to be open from 6 to 11 p.m.

At Woodbury Common in the Hudson Valley, shoppers also braved light snow to take advantage of bargains before their dinner.

“Avoiding tomorrow, so thinking today might be a little less people around,” one woman said.

“I got some Uggs for $200, so we’re having the greatest time out here,” a woman said.

And in Midtown, a Modell’s Sporting Goods store was packed with customers and workers. Store manager Amanda Fuentes said her employees were making sacrifices to be at work instead of home, so she tried to make it festive for them.

“It’s still a holiday that we care a lot about, so we’ll do a luncheon for the guys, so we celebrate Thanksgiving here while we’re hustling out on the floor and making money,” Fuentes said.

And at the Best Buy in Manhattan’s Union Square, Winslow Harrington was the first person in line at midnight despite rain, sleet and snow. The Queens resident was looking to save a couple hundred dollars on a 50-inch TV when the electronics store opens at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Harrington said he doesn’t mind stores being open on Thanksgiving because he works on Black Friday.

Trudy and Fausto joined the Best Buy line at 5 a.m. and were keeping warm underneath a blanket Thursday afternoon.

They planned to save $350 on a 55-inch TV for Trudy’s parents. Fausto did the math and said the wait is worth it.

“If you’re here for 10 hours, it’s like $35 an hour you’re saving,” he said.

“People like me … won’t have the opportunity to do the shopping and standing outside, so (it’s) a perfect time for me,” he told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Critics have argued that opening on Thanksgiving not fair to store employees, who can’t spend the entire day with their families on the holiday.

The manager at the Kmart said the store has opened on Thanksgiving for 23 years and that it staggers schedules to allow workers to spend part of the day with loved ones.

And in recent years, Garden State Plaza and Paramus Park resisted the temptation to open up for Thanksgiving. Sources told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck that Garden State Plaza made the decision to open because so many other retailers in the area are opening and the mall didn’t want to miss out on the demand.

“Given the enthusiasm by shoppers and retailers to open up earlier and earlier each year, Westfield Garden State Plaza will open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.,” Lisa Hermann of Westfield Garden State Plaza said earlier this month.

A representative for Paramus Park said shopping on Thanksgiving has now become a tradition.

New Jersey state Sen. Richard Codey, meanwhile, is introducing a bill that would bar retailers from opening before 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Meanwhile, experts said for those heading to the mall on Black Friday, there are countless shopping apps available on the go for even more savings. Apps such as Red Laser and TheFind let users scan a bar code and comparison-shop on the spot, even allowing users to buy the items instantly online.

There are 28 days from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, which is a shorter shopping season this year.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]


Leave a Reply