MEMPHIS, TN - Holiday shopping started early for a lot of retailers around the Mid-South this year. For the first time, stores like Sears, Old Navy and Garden Ridge got the big seasonal sales underway Thursday.
This Thanksgiving day, people are hitting up those door-busters before even thinking about the dinner table. Before the Thanksgiving bird got served up, early birds got down to business, banking on bargains.
“They're extra less expensive than they usually are, so being less expensive in this economy at this day and time, you better take the best of the offer,” said shopper Denise Bradley.
“We did great,” said mother-daughter shopping duo Amy Hatcher and Dianna Woodward. “We got 5 pairs of jeans for $49, plus sox and a hoodie, so we did good. They had some really great sales, so we're very excited.”
Old Navy was open in Poplar Plaza in East Memphis. The parking lot was packed. Wal-Mart's store by Wolfchase Galleria was busy too. Sears was open from 7 am until noon.
“We had 40 customers waiting at the door,” said Sears Manager Ron Puterbaugh. “And we've been steady ever since. It’s met all of our expectations.”
They say it's what customers wanted.
“When the consumer wants to shop is when we want to be open,” said Puterbaugh.
And shoppers we talked with were stoked about the early start.
“I think it's a marvelous idea. I think it's a wonder for getting some of us out of the kitchen from having to cook all the time,” said shopper Rozelyn Morris. “With the stores being open, people at my age, we have a chance to get a head-start on the younger group.”
“It's the only day I'm off,” said shopper Dusty Walker. “I'm off the weekend, but I wanted to take advantage of light crowds, and I needed to get my lights up.”
With bags of door-busters in hand, shoppers say it's back to business at home.
“I've already cooked,” said Bradley. “We're going to go home and we're going to eat after we leave here, and we're going to give thanks.”
“I have to go back to the kitchen,” said Morris. “I have to feed the family.”
This was just the beginning of it. Stores are preparing for the big rush, as usual, on Black Friday.
Puterbaugh says Sears will have 599 door-buster items Friday morning. Doors open at 4 am.