LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Not all Americans spent Thanksgiving sitting at the table or laying on the couch watching football Thursday. Some hit the stores for shopping, snagging sales ahead of Friday's expected crowds.
After a year of high unemployment and cautious consumers, more stores have extended their hours into Thanksgiving Day. Sears, K-Mart and some Sports Authority, Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores are among those open.
In Lufkin, 5 a.m. couldn't come soon enough for the close to 200 K-Mart shoppers who braved long lines in order to take advantage advertised savings on hot toys and electronics.
If you missed out on Thursday's deals, don't worry too much, local retailers (some as early as midnight Thursday) will begin a new round of holiday sales for Black Friday. Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day which traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Lydia Lampe was one of those early shoppers. "The crowds aren't as bad on Thanksgiving as they are the day after and you can take your time and look for stuff."
It was business as usual for K-Mart employees on Thursday and most of them will be right back on the job Friday when the "Blue Friday" hours begin. K-Mart is also one of a few stores that has a layaway program.