Shoppers Hit the Stores

Holiday shoppers hit the stores before dawn Friday... hoping to get those early bird specials.

The line at a Lufkin Best Buy store wrapped around the building before the doors opened.

Many retailers are offering the deep discounts and early opening times to lure in more shoppers. Activity at the Lufkin Mall was equally brisk with shoppers lining up before dawn hoping to be one of the 300 lucky recipients of a mall gift bag stuffed with discounts, as was business at Academic Sports and Outdoors.

The Friday after Thanksgiving... known as "Black Friday," is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday earned that nickname for being the day many retailers move out of the red into the black... or profitability.

In some cases... November and December can account for as much as 50-percent of profit and sales.  If you feel like the holiday shopping season started earlier this year, you're right.

Some items are flying off the shelves and others you may not even be able to find this late in the game.  "We have a lot of people shopping earlier. The retailers are working to drive business earlier," said retailer Mike Kaufman.  It's working. shoppers have been taking advantage of the early holiday sales.

"The music on the radio is annoying. It starts too far as the prices.... that's a good thing because then it's not so much of a big hectic rush on black Friday. I hate that," noticed shopper Carmen Longobardi.

You most likely know about the hype surrounding Playstation 3 and Tickle Me Elmo Extreme..those items and others. When asked about hot toy sellers for this year shoppers said, "... the Tickle Me Elmo, the life sized little pony for girls that sold out really quickly, anything Diego (and) Legos are really big this year!"

The Fur Real Pony is sold for about 250-dollars but some are selling it on Ebay for twice as much. Although many stores are out of the furry friend, Target says it will be getting more in before Christmas. Target also expects to have more TMX's in stock too.

On average, consumers will spend $791 this holiday shopping season, more than last year.