WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Thanksgiving is one of the biggest days of the year for eating, traveling and shopping.
When it comes to those three past times, it’s all in the timing. It may be Thursday, but for many, Black Friday shopping starts today.
WATCH: CBS2’s Tara Jakeway Speaks With Kmart Store Manager
Kmart is leading the way, opening its doors at 6 a.m. on turkey day. Other retailers have followed suit – Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Walmart will all be open today as they try to grab the attention of eager shoppers.
Deneen Gatewood, of Greenburgh, was the first to arrive at the Kmart on Tarrytown Road on Thursday morning.
“Because they were open. This is the first year that they opened up, so I had to be here. I live right up the block,” she told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway. “Just some clothes for my grandkids and I came out to buy my husband some stuff.”
“I’m trying to get some sales … Thanksgiving is the best time to go,” said Jennifer, of Rye Brook. “I get all the stocking stuff done, that’s what today is all about.”
With a late Thanksgiving, there are fewer days to bag those bargains before Christmas. Still, the National Retail Federation estimates Black Friday will be the busiest in-store shopping day of the year.
When it comes to area shoppers, they could go either way.
“The excitement, the sales,” one woman said.
“We definitely have a tradition. We have turkey and then we head out. It’s a grouping, we section it off – you go here, we go there,” Shirley Lopez, of Piscataway, told CBS2.
“It could be dangerous in there, too. You see people pushing each other over,” said Kenrick Wolf, of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“People should understand if they need to buy a gift specifically for this time of year or if they can wait until January, and then they’re going to have clearance sales on leftovers,” President of Total Merchant Resources Val Pinkhasov said.
Anxious shoppers started lining up outside nearly 12 hours before the store opened. One shopper told CBS2’s Ali Bauman they arrived at 6 a.m.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) November 28, 2019
Employees are not expecting crowds to thin out any time soon.
“I’ve worked here for a couple years now and it will be like this straight through until Sunday,” said Kathy Hilt, Macy’s district vice president.
Those who arrived at the store before Thanksgiving dinner say they’ll celebrate the holiday back at home with their purchases in tow.