Shoppers use Thanksgiving to get head-start on Black Friday deals

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thanksgiving is the eve of one of the biggest shopping days of the year and many stores are already trying to cash in on Black Friday shoppers.

People braved the cold this Thanksgiving and lined up outside up stores before the doors opened early Thursday evening. Some people ate dinner early, while others waited until after their Black Friday shopping was complete. Many store managers say they’re trying to keep up with online deals, but shoppers say some of the best deals are in store.

“The Doc McStuffins player is $40 that’s cheaper here they’re not honoring that online so you stay home and you spend an extra forty dollars or you come out here and save that forty dollars,” said Lindsey Huetter, who was the first shopper in line at Toys ‘R’ Us Thanksgiving afternoon.

Some shoppers say they don’t sacrifice their entire Thanksgiving to shop. They start early so they can enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.

“It gives the best of both worlds you get something for your kids that they have a great Christmas they’re happy and you’re not out all day and night fighting the crowds for that hot new toy,” said Robert Russell, who stood in line at Toys ‘R’ Us for three hours.

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls welcomed hundreds of shoppers by opening its doors at 8 p.m. The first 100 customers in line received swag bags filled with gifts cards ranging from $10 to $100 and other goodies.

Mall manager John Doran says there’s a much bigger crowd this year than last year and he’s not surprised.

“If you can combine the best deals of the year with doing something that you don’t normally do really who goes shopping at 2 o’clock in the morning? It’s girl’s night out, this is family friendly fun,” said John Doran, mall managers at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.

Other stores, like JCPenneys opened as early as 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Macys and Best Buy just opened its doors at 5 p.m.

The Fashion Outlets is open until 2 a.m. and will reopen Friday at 7 a.m. About 20 stores inside the outlet mall will remain open throughout the night. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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