Getting a Jump on Black Friday, Shoppers Come Out on Thanksgiving

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Shoppers wait in line while shopping at Toys"R"Us during last year's Black Friday.

    At the Kmart in Ridgewood, N.J., one shopper was caught in a kind of time warp onThursday, moving through the store with a cart full of Christmas gifts while she wore an especially colorful hat that somewhat resembled a turkey.

    Kmart was one of the few retailers that decided to help shoppers get a jump on holiday gift buying by staying open most of the day on Thanksgiving.

    "I don't like the crowd on Friday," said Galit Levin of nearby Fair Lawn as she walked through the electronics section there, then added "I was very happy, i was thrilled to hear they're open on Thanksgiving."

    The parking lot outside was busy, but nonetheless there were plenty of spaces available and the lines were short.

    And that, of course, is the attraction for shoppers such as Dan Terlizzi of North Haledon.

    "I watched the parade this morning and I figured I'd run out and do some shopping before Black Friday because I hear tomorrow's going to be totally insane," Terlizzi said as he held a Blue Ray DVD player for his children.

    After two years of the Great Recession, retailers can only hope Black Friday is "insane."

    But the most recent reports on consumer spending have shown some optimism, so this year Black Friday--so-called because many stores counted the day as the beginning of when they made a profit for the year--may just live up to its name.

    Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY