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Thanksgiving Night Crowds Ease Black Friday Rush

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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Shoppers line-up for a 7 o'clock opening at the Sam's Club location in Chesterfield on Friday, November 23, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

Shoppers line-up for a 7 o’clock opening at the Sam’s Club location in Chesterfield on Friday, November 23, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

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CHESTERFIELD (KMOX) – “Black Friday” is quickly becoming an inaccurate term.

With so many area stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving night, the big boxes and shopping malls were practically empty come sunrise on Friday. Even those stores which opened at midnight were quiet within hours, as people apparently shopped ’til they dropped and then decided to sleep in.

Electronics, of course, were popular items among the hundred-or-so shoppers camped out in Fairview Heights.

FOLLOW ST. LOUIS TWEETS ABOUT BLACK FRIDAY >>

At the head of the line were the stereotypical tents, although many more bargain-hunters claimed to have been standing in wait for at least five hours. Rain was no deterrent. The same scene played out, per usual, at the Best Buy in Brentwood.

After the post-turkey and the midnight madness, St. Louisans went home and were snug in their beds.

A check of the Target at Hampton and Chippewa in St. Louis at about 6 o’clock revealed empty aisles and employees wondering when things would pick up again. The Chesterfield Valley featured seemingly unending parking and, with the exception of Sam’s Club, a serene sunrise.

Sam’s opened at 7 o’clock, but even there the line was calm.

“There’s no reason to be open on Thanksgiving Day,” one woman said while waiting outside the building. “I cannot stand the fact that they’ve ruined Thanksgiving,” another added.

At 7:30 a.m., the center court of Chesterfield Mall was totally empty and shoppers had their pick of hundreds of open parking spots. But then, just an hour later, West County Center sprang to life, with parking at a premium and shoppers carrying bundles of bags and cups of coffee packing the aisles.

And the malls were overflowing with shoppers earlier, at midnight.

cf Thanksgiving Night Crowds Ease Black Friday Rush

Chesterfield Mall on Black Friday (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

Thanksgiving-night doorbusters zapped much — but not all — of the early morning energy.  J.C. Penney was one exception, with a 6 a.m. opening drawing out at least a few people. Walmart also had a rolling series of sales through the night and morning.

No labor-related disruptions were reported at area Walmart locations.

The day Friday is expected to be brisk for business, with stores like Express offering 50% off through noon and others advertising special discounts or deals through the end of the day.

KMOX © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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