Black Friday shopping starting early with Thanksgiving deals

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Holiday shoppers around the Valley have already begun lining up at stores as the traditional “Black Friday” sales are morphing into “Black Thursday.”

Despite backlash from employee groups, Walmart, Toys”R”Us, Sears and Target plan to open their doors just as soon as the turkey scraps are cleared off the Thanksgiving dinner table. Thursday night is the earliest many retailers have ever offered the traditional "Black Friday” deals.

Electronics giant Best Buy is continuing its practice of opening at midnight on Friday. Lines of people could be seen at Best Buy stores starting at the beginning of the week.

“Last night was actually really cold. I kept on waking up because I was freezing,” said Christopher Urquieta, who was at the front of the line at Best Buy’s 20th Street and Camelback Rd. location.  “A few people have told us that we’re crazy.”

Urquieta said he would spend two nights in line to save a couple hundred dollars on a 40” flat-screen TV and a Blue Ray player. Others were hoping to cash in for savings of $300 - $500.

Some retail industry observers are worried that congressional inaction on the so-called “fiscal cliff” will dampen holiday sales numbers.  However, the National Retail Federation is still predicting a 4.1 percent growth in holiday sales.