The Latest: Black Friday

The Latest: Black Friday

Shoppers had a bit of a buying appetizer on Thanksgiving, yet the question remains how much they'll feast on deals on the day after the holiday.

Big chains that include Macy's, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart & Target opened their doors on the holiday for those who wanted to obtain their post-turkey shop on.

But the day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, is typically the biggest shopping day of the year. And for a decade, it had been considered the official start of the holiday buying season.

p>Still, as retailers increasingly have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night, & the discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, analysts have questioned whether Black Friday is losing its cache.

Overall, the National Retail Federation estimates that approximately 135.8 million consumers will be shopping during the four-day weekend, compared with 133.7 million last year. The group moreover expects sales in November & December of this year to be $630.5 billion, up 3.7 percent from the last two months of the year in 2014.

Here's how the start of the holiday shopping season is playing out. All times are EST, unless otherwise specified. Check back often.

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Joy Ramey carries a television to purchase at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in  …

Friday, 5 a.m.: Pulling an all-nighter

Crystal Gomez from Queens, N.Y., started shopping at 11 p.m. Thursday & was loaded with bags from Toys R Us where she picked up Barbies & other gifts by 5 a.m. She moreover had shopped at Macy's, Gap, Old Navy & Victoria's Secret. She shops Black Friday every year & started so early to avoid the crowds.

"It's not really crowded now yet it will be later," she said.

—Mae Anderson, New York

Friday, 5 a.m.:

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Tony & Sarah Locken carry a television to purchase at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, …

Gloria Romero, 23, from the Bronx & her friend, Ashley Quesoo, 19, woke up at 2 a.m. to go to Sephora. They picked up one item, a Dita Von Teese contour palette makeup set.

"It was sold out online," Romero said.

They said waking up that early was worth it. "We had quite a bit of fun, we received to experiment with makeup & it wasn't crowded," Romero said.

—Mae Anderson, New York

Thursday, 9 p.m.: Sneaky shopper

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Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, right, talks to customer Kristi Gongoll as she seeks to buy electronics on …

Julie Desireau snagged a $10 crock pot & the last $10 deep fryer at the Naperville, Illinois Wal-Mart & promptly hid them under a rack of women's flannel pajamas. Then the 29-year-old from Chicago called her husband, who was in the toy department with their cart, & told him to come pick her up.

"There's no way I'm going back there," she said.

—Sara Burnett, Naperville, Illinois

Thursday, 9 p.m.: Deals in the city that never sleeps

Bintou Cham, a 31-year-old New York City home health aid worker, was holding her four-month baby girl, while pushing a cart of baby clothes from J.C. Penney, perfume from Macy's & underwear from Victoria's Secret. She started shopping at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday & spent approximately $200. She said on average she received approximately 40 percent to 50 percent off yet she was looking for more.

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Dollie Merritt reacts after entering Best Buy as it opens on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015,  …

"I was looking for 70 percent off," she said. "I have a baby & it is expensive."

—Anne D'Innocenzio, New York

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Kendra Pettis looks at toys while holiday shopping at Best Buy on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Panama …

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Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, right, leads a cheer for employees with store manager Brian Maciej before  …

Thursday, 8 p.m.: Things are looking up for Target

Target CEO Brian Cornell told reporters on a conference call that early results show the discount chain is seeing higher traffic at its stores than last year & shoppers are buying items across the store, from clothing to electronics to toys. He moreover said that he has been pleased with strong results in online sales. Among some of the most popular door buster deals is a Westinghouse TV, marked down to $249.99, a savings of $350, he said. Target moreover offered 40 percent off of all fashion & accessories.

—Anne D'Innocenzio, New York

Thursday, 8 p.m.: He's a planner

With one of his sons in tow & two more waiting expectantly at home, Jeff McGehee's Thanksgiving night shopping strategy was downright militaristic: divide & conquer.

The physical education teacher from suburban St. Louis & his wife mapped out their route in advance: she would brave the crowds at Target for a $299 Xbox One coveted by their 19-year-old, while he, his 20-year-old son Josh & McGehee's older brother took a more leisurely stroll through a less crowded Sports Authority in Brentwood, Mo., eyeing deals with the $15 gift cards they earned by being among the first 80 customers in line.

The routine was due to continue before dawn Friday, he said, with a planned 6 a.m. visit to Home Depot for a Christmas tree followed by an Office Depot stop to buy a Google Chrome notebook computer for their youngest son, 17.

—Alan Zagier, Brentwood, Missouri

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A boy looks through a door while standing in line for holiday shopping at Best Buy on Thursday, Nov. …

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.: I don't always shop, yet when I do, I might not buy anything

At the crowded Macy's shoe department at Herald Square, Karina Maxim, an artist & tarot card reader , was taking a break in shopping. She had just come from Aeropostale where she spent $60 on T-shirts for her two children.

This was her first time shopping on Thanksgiving.

She plans to go to Best Buy Friday. But she said she doesn't have a plan. "I'm not going to promise I will buy anything," she said.

—Anne D'Innocenzio, New York

Thursday, 5:55 p.m.: Lamenting the satisfactory ole days

An hour & a half before the Toys R Us in Times Square opened at 5 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, approximately 40 people stood in line, although that swelled to 100-plus a little after 4 p.m.

"Black Friday isn't what it used to be," said Keith Nelson, 54, who works in security in the Brooklyn & was third in line after arriving approximately 2:15. "Lines used to be longer, people would be sleeping & bringing lounge chairs out here."

— Mae Anderson, New York

Thursday, 6:45 p.m.: Me time in the mall

Rosy Urrutia, 25, was shopping on Thanksgiving night as an appetizer before her meal. The Commerce City, Colorado stay-at-home mom had an armful of shoe boxes — two for herself & three for her children — & an electric griddle.

"I have one hour to shop & then I have to obtain home & cook Thanksgiving dinner," she said. "I just wanted to come shop for some me time, I guess. I love it. But I like cooking for everyone, too."

—Kristen Wyatt, Denver, Colorado

Banking & BudgetingHobbies & Personal ActivitiesTargetThanksgiving

Source: “Associated Press”

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