Shoppers Come Out Strong on Black Friday

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Even with a big day of shopping and sales under their belts, plenty of people still lined up to get their hands on Black Friday deals.

The electronics department was the hot spot at the Meijer store in Okemos Friday. Customers lined up starting at 2 a.m. to stake their claim for a discounted Kindle or video games.

"It's just the thrill, the rush you get trying to beat everyone to the deals and everything," said McKenzie Henning, who hadn't stopped shopping since she started at 7 p.m. the previous evening.

With Thanksgiving falling late on the calendar this year -- resulting in the fewest shopping days before Christmas in a decade -- many stores opened earlier than ever before. K-Mart, for example, opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and planned to stay open for 41 straight hours.

But Meijer's store manager said he saw no decrease in business as a result. Friday is still the busier day, even though Meijer offered Thanksgiving morning sales as it has done in years past. The store offers a separate set of bargains on Black Friday.

"We really try to take some stress out of the Holiday shopping by opening at 6 a.m," said store manager Chris Wilson. "Customers didn't have to set their alarms at 2 a.m. to get up in the morning."

Ten-year-old Mariah Keener said shopping early in the morning has become a family tradition.

"It's just being around all the people and showing how much you care," she said, "and being able to see how many people care to go out and buy all the Christmas stuff."

And as for tips to consumers, Wilson says it's important to stay ahead of the game.

"Shop early this year," he said. "We feel we have a good quantity of products, but it's really important if you've got that item in mind, get to the store, pick it up."

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