East Texans hit the Black Friday sales early - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans hit the Black Friday sales early

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Black Friday kicked off with a bang in East Texas: Some retailers are expecting a record year for sales thanks to an increase in the number of shoppers braving the crowds this weekend.

And for many people, it started well before Friday.

"People started getting here Wednesday morning. I mean, we had a line when I left at the end of the night. It was crazy when I got here this morning, we had people all the way down to Lowe's," said Rachel Carroll, the Mobile Manager at Best Buy in Tyler.

Those increased Black Friday sales are likely to come thanks to extended store hours. For the first time ever, Best Buy opened its doors at midnight. Walmart and Toys R Us opened their doors at 10 p.m. Thursday, and Kohl's, Macys, and Target joined Best Buy with a 12 a.m. open.

That first person in line at Best Buy was Clint Stadler.

"I've done it for about 8 years in a row. It's like a big block party. It's great and we're almost there, we're on the countdown, almost 10 minutes to go," Stadler said right before the store opened.

Stadler and his girlfriend started camping outside Best Buy at 8 a.m. Wednesday to get the good deals. He said he expected to spend $700.

"I'm getting gifts for my family and friends. I'm getting the 42" TV, the 27" TV, the laptop," he said.

"They know their gifts now," his girlfriend Wendy Patino said, laughing.

Inside, the store was stocked with this year's hottest items -- including TVs, tablets, and iPod Touches -- and the staff was just as excited to sell those products as the people in line were to buy them.

Over at Target in Tyler, another huge crowd. People started lining up during the day on Thursday to fill up those carts.

"We got 3 TVs, a Christmas tree, vacuum cleaners, luggage, blankets, DVD players, {an} iPod touch," said Cody Luce of Palestine.

But there were no complaints.

"It was actually pretty good," Luce said. "The people were real helpful and real nice and we had a good crowd."

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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