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Black Friday shopping kicks off

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Nov 28 2013 10:33:00 PM HST

The holiday shopping season has arrived, but is the tradition of Black Friday coming to an end with stores opening early this year?

HONOLULU -

The holiday shopping season is here but is the tradition of Black Friday coming to an end?

The countdown to a deal seekers favorite shopping day of year officially opened Thursday evening.  Black Friday always draws a crowd but this year's was somewhat uncertain because of retailers opening its doors earlier than in previous years.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

Toys "R" Us in Aiea was the first major retailer to open on Thanksgiving.

"Business has been very brisk since we opened," said David Palmer, manager at Toys "R" Us.

Even when many people were probably eating Thanksgiving dinner at home, lines still packed the parking lot.

"It's funny, year after year we see the same folks lining up no matter what time we open up," said Palmer.

Lines at Best Buy weren't as fortunate early in the day. But once the sun set, the crowd piled in.

"This is one of the days that we anticipate throughout the whole holiday season. It's our biggest day for revenue and just having fun in the store is part of our culture at 852 so it's awesome," said Ricci Caracol, a supervisor at Best Buy Aiea.

The electronics giant offered discounts on TV's, computers and games. Toys "R" Us listed over 300 Doorbusters and 3,000 items on sale. Perhaps the only difficult task for shoppers was getting those products out the door.

"Did you get everything you wanted," asked a reporter.

"And more, we only came for the Go Pro's but we ended up getting two televisions," said Eric Tokunaga, a customer at Best Buy.

"It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It went pretty smooth actually," said a shopper.

Most customers said they lined up for less than an hour outside the stores, hours less than what they experienced in previous years.

"I served Thanksgiving for breakfast and then we had the rest of the day to do what we want to do," said Lei Collins, a customer at Best Buy.

"So this is perfect?" asked a reporter.

"Exactly, we can go where we want to go and get what we need," said Collins.

Although this isn't a traditional Black Friday, shoppers say "Gray Thursday" will do just fine.

"Do you like it this way?" asked a reporter.

"Yeah, I like it, my girlfriends cool, she said go with your son," said Tokunaga.

"Starting it on Thanksgiving, especially after everyone eats you know, get a little rest and then go shopping, it's perfect," said a customer at Toys "R" Us.

Best Buy will stay open until 10 p.m. Friday. Toys "R" Us will close an hour before that.


Click here to see Black Friday photos from across the nation.

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