EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Some retailers and shoppers are getting a jump start on Black Friday. There were shoppers out early Thanksgiving morning, taking advantage of this day before the big rush.
Martha Lindsey and her family were headed out of town early Thursday morning to join relatives for Thanksgiving dinner. Lindsey, of Abingdon, says one of her stops along the way to Champaign was a visit to Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria.
"I'm trying to beat the rush," she laughed. "The bargains the sales. They had sweat shirts and hunting paints for men and women so that's why we came."
Unlike Black Friday, there were not long lines of people waiting outside when the store opened. But for the shoppers coming in, this is a good time to start buying Christmas gifts.
"I'm gonna get most of mine done today. I still have a couple of things to pick up," said Roy Blackburn.
"I ain't dealing with Black Friday, that's for the old lady. I ain't going for it. Little easier today it's empty you get something done," said Levin Blackburn.
Last year, Bass Pro kicked off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving. This time around, it started the day before.
One manager says it's part of a five-day promotional campaign in an effort to get shoppers into the holiday buying mode.
"Everybody's anticipating Black Friday and what it's all about and we have those sales, too, but this is something extra for them,"said Bass Pro Merchandise Manager Clint Elledge.
Many other retailers will have plenty of items, too, looking to cash in big during the holiday shopping season.