Shoppers get an early start to Black Friday shopping

By WEEK Producer

November 22, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM CDT

The holiday shopping season has officially begun.

Walmart, Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us all flung open their doors at 8:00 PM Thursday night to eager holiday shoppers.

With more than 147 million customers nationwide expected to hit the stores this weekend, retailers are hoping to make up to 30% of their Holiday sales.

An obtainable goal with the early openings and door busting prices so outrageous that some customers are even camping out in parking lots.

"$180 dollars for a 40 inch TV, you can't pass it up," said shopper Chris Ashley at Best Buy. "Like I said I bought a TV four years ago and now it's time for change."

"Actually it was very convenient because usually I'm in bed ten to ten-thirty," said shopper Kevin Bond at Walmart. "If I was going to get up on Black Friday, wouldn't have to worry about getting up at five in the morning or four o'clock or midnight...no. But eight o'clock, wasn't too bad."

"It was alright," said shopper Tara Summerson at Toys R' Us. "I just think that maybe they should put it back to Friday because of Thanksgiving, and it would give people more time with their family."

For those who prefer to skip the lines, most retailers are offering the same sales online.

In fact, according to IBM, tonight's online sales are already up 17.8 % over Thanksgiving 2011.

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