Tariffs loom, a presidential impeachment inquiry is underway and familiar retail names, from Forever 21 to Sears, are shuttering stores across the country.
That's not stopping the holiday shopping frenzy from getting underway as many stores flung their doors open before the turkey could get cold.
Black Friday shopping is kicking off in stores on Thanksgiving for several major retailers and online for all. The deal shopping was so intense that Costco's website and app had issues Thursday.
Store opening times vary. Kmart and Big Lots welcomed shoppers in the morning. The majority of stores opening Thursday will open by 6 p.m.
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At a J.C. Penney in Merritt Island, Florida, shoppers started lining up before noon for a coupon giveaway at 2 p.m. By the time the store opened, hundreds had lined up.
Jessica Mize of North Fort Myers, Florida, said she rescheduled Thanksgiving to shop Thursday. The mother of four arrived at Best Buy around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, one of the first people in line for the store’s Black Friday deals, which included a 58-inch TV for $199.
Moving her family’s Thanksgiving made preparing and eating the meal more relaxing, she said, hoping it would make her shopping more relaxing, too.
“There’s still pressure,” Mize said, noting that she has just a few weeks to wrap her gifts and hadn’t yet purchased any wrapping paper. “I hate wrapping, but if I want it done right and I want it done pretty, I have to do it myself.”