Black Friday Starting Earlier Than Ever Before

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This year's shopping frenzy is starting earlier than ever before. More stores are opening up on Thanksgiving Day- trying to gain as many holiday shoppers as possible.

The preparations are already in place for the lines. Some stores are even open today and more stores than ever before will unlock their doors at the stroke of midnight.

Just friendly game of Thanksgiving Day Best Buy's parking lot.

Tossing the pig skins, playing, games even watching movies. These early birds are skipping turkey for a chance at TV.

"It's a 42 inch flat screen for 200 bucks!" says Benjamin Chase. He's first in line. "Save like a grand on it or something. Yeah, can't beat that deal anywhere."

"I've seen so many cars come down and like turn around and stuff. they're like oh no! Too many people in line already," added Theonya Cole.

It's the advertised deals that got them here.... "midnight tonight" "door busters" "3-day sale!" Retailers are pulling out all the stops!

It's estimated 152 million Americans will stand in the long lines and hit the big department stores this holiday weekend.

"A lot of them are pegging midnight of that Friday as the starting point. Used to be open at 6 in the morning, open at 3 in the morning. Now it's opening at midnight." VCU business professor David Urban says the earlier openings show just how important this black Friday weekend is to retailers this year. "It really is very very difficult for retailers to resist the temptation to open at midnight if other competing stores are doing the same."

According to some economist holiday shopping will increase by 2% this year, even though some Americans can't really afford the added expense. The message this year is don't bust your budgets.

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