Huge crowds were ready to pour into retail stores when the doors opened this morning, but shoppers and store employees seemed to agree it wasn’t as hectic as in the past.
Most said the latest trend of some stores offering their specials late Thanksgiving night may have thinned pre-dawn crowds this morning.
Retailers, shoppers and police reported large crowds at some stores that began offering discounted merchandise Thursday night.
Sarah Jones, a manager at Target in Florence, said there was a long line when the store opened at 9 p.m. Thursday. The store opened at midnight last year and 4 a.m. the year before that.
She said this morning that sales appeared to be matching last year’s pace.
Shoals residents were joined by shoppers who came from towns like Red Bay, Hodges, Collinwood, Tenn., and Iuka, Miss.
“I enjoy it,” Tuscumbia resident Katie Dalrymple said. “It’s a fun part of Thanksgiving for us.”
By 6 a.m. - nine hours after opening, the Target parking lot resembled a normal shopping day.
JC Penney at Regency Square Mall was still bustling at 7:30 a.m.
Some shoppers said they waited until this morning to begin their trek, saying they were protesting Thanksgiving Day openings at some store.
Police reported no incidents during the early morning shopping frenzy.