This year, instead of waiting until the first minutes of Black Friday to begin at midnight, retailers opened their stores Thanksgiving night to give shoppers the deals they had been waiting on.
Walmart began its sales at 6 p.m. Nov. 28 with small items such as DVDs, Blu-ray movies and video games. They continued the sales at 8 p.m. with larger electronic items such as HDTVs and computer monitors.
The North Georgia Premium Outlets opened select stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and continued opening stores hourly until midnight.
According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, some 140 million people in the U.S. planned to hit stores at some point over the Thanksgiving weekend, with nearly one-quarter of those surveyed planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Dawson County resident Lee Ann Frix said she and her husband started their Christmas shopping Thanksgiving night, up into the early morning hours before finishing off lists Friday morning.
"We started early yesterday with the sales and got home at 2 this morning," she said. "Then we got up again up to shop today at 4:30."
Walmart continued its sales again Nov. 29 with smartphones of various makes and models for sale with a contract at their mobile phone center.
"We only got up about 6:30 this morning," said Walmart shopper Jen Scott. "I'm only here for [the phones] this morning."
Despite shoppers turning out less on Friday than in the past, retailers are still getting their profits, even if through other means, whether it be on Thanksgiving Day or online.
Scott said she planned to take it easy with Black Friday sales this year, instead preferring to do her shopping in other ways.
"We're going light this year on Friday shopping," she said. "I did more shopping online and yesterday than in the previous years." Last year, I did a lot more shopping in stores."