Shoppers line up for early Black Friday deals

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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CONCORD, N.C. —

More than 200 shoppers stood in line at the Concord Toys 'R Us to take advantage of Black Friday deals.

Shoppers started lining up at about 4 p.m. Thursday. So for some families, Thanksgiving dinner happened around noon.

"We're after Mickey Mouse, we're after some Leap Frog games," said Bobbi Jo Lazarus.

With coupon flyers in hand, hundreds of customers stood in line prepared to spend hundreds--even thousands--of dollars on Christmas presents.

"I have two daughters. So obviously, we need lots of toys under the tree," said customer Lexanne Speer.

This year, Toys 'R Us opened 8 p.m. Thursday. That's an hour earlier than last year.

"I think it's too early for everybody to do it. You're cutting into Thanksgiving," Lazarus said.

Many big box stores opened earlier than ever this year. Retail experts said brick-and-mortar stores continue to face pressure to make shopping more convenient as customers increasingly turn to shopping online.

Lazarus had her Thanksgiving meal around noon, and was standing in line by 4 p.m.

"We had a lunchtime Thanksgiving dinner," she said.

She said she hates having to give up time with family, but says she has no choice in a shaky economy.

"I think 8 o'clock is just too early," she said.

"But you're still here, first in line," pointed out Eyewitness News.

"I'm still here. Cause they're such good sales," she replied.

Other shoppers said they prefer early-evening openings to the way it was a few years ago, when many stores didn't open until midnight.

"I'm not so much a morning person, I'd almost rather come out in the evenings than get up at two in the morning and stand in line then," Speer said.