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Black Friday Starts Early For Missoula Shoppers


Thanksgiving is not even over, but the stores are already opening. A handful of Missoula stores have already opened their doors to Black Friday shoppers.

"We're going to have two 50-inch (TVs) in our living room, and two Xboxes for the kids," said Target shopper Jerry Richards, Sr.

Whether it was for a TV or the latest video games, by early Thursday afternoon, people were lining up at a handful of stores across Missoula.

"You know it's just every year it seems to creep up a little closer and closer to Thanksgiving Day," said Best Buy Manager Mark Leveile.

He said this is the earliest Best Buy has ever opened for Black Friday.

"Customers are in line, so if they're here, we're going to open up and get them taken care of," Leveile said.

Store managers said two years ago, the store opened at 5:30 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, it opened at midnight, and Thursday night for the first time ever it opened on the holiday.

"I had Thanksgiving last night, just because I knew I wanted to be here for Black Friday," said Best Buy shopper Jamie Soper.

Shoppers aren't complaining, some camping out as early as 3:30 a.m. to snag bargains on everything from TVs to DVDs.

"My sister got me started on this last year, and I like the specials," Richards Sr. said.

Best Buy managers said one of their biggest competitors, Target, opened at 10 last year, taking some of their customers. This year Best Buy beat Target, opening it's doors at 6 a.m., and coming prepared for the crowds.

"We have tickets we hand out up to two hours before the lines starts moving, so that way, you're sure to get one if you waited your time in line," Leveile said.

No matter how early a store opens on Black Friday, the customers seem to be waiting at their door.

Best Buy, Target, and a handful of stores in the mall are a few of the stores that opened early Thursday.

The holiday shopping season is much shorter this year with Thanksgiving falling so late. Folks, you only have four weekends until Christmas.

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