"Gray Thursday" Shoppers Score Deals

By: Morgan Kyrklund Email
By: Morgan Kyrklund Email

PANAMA CITY - Shoppers were lining up early Thursday to score some big shopping deals.

Some believe Gray Thursdays, as it's being called, could steal a lot of thunder from Black Friday.

Standing in line at a store is as much of a Thanksgiving tradition for some folks as carving a turkey is for others.

Shopper Linda Blocker said, "I view this as an entire day to spend time with my grandson. We are both too busy most of the time, so it's a nice day for both of us."

More than a dozen major retailers from Best Buy to Toys R Us open Thanksgiving Day.

People, looking to get a jump start on their holiday shopping, camped out for more than 24 hours.

Most weren't phased by Wednesday night's 30 degree temperatures.

Taylor Huckabay was first in line at Best Buy.

He said, "I had three layers on top. Four layers on the bottom."

Huckabay's perseverance paid off when he got a 40 inch TV for almost half price.

"It takes some patience just sitting there and you kind of want to leave, but you are already there. So you just got to stick to it," Huckabay said.

Across the road at Toys R Us, shoppers were scrambling to get their hands on the hot items.

Shoppers agree they spend their Thanksgiving in stores so they can see the kids smile Christmas morning.

Jason Leabo is shopping for his little girls at Toys R Us.

He said, "Nothing replaces the smile of a child when they are genuinely surprised by what you got them."

Randy Vogt is a grandpa looking for the best bargains.

Vogt said, "The kids, it's all about the kids. It means everything."

The experts can't seem to agree if holiday spending will be weak or strong this year.

Some say dropping gas prices will allow consumers to splurge this Christmas.

While some are predicting a modest 2% sales gain over last year, others are predicting as much as a 5.4% increase.


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