Black Friday begins before Thanksgiving ends

Shoppers line up outside a Target in Jefferson City Thursday evening. The store's Black Friday sale began at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Thanksgiving meals had barely finished Thursday when crowds started forming outside area stores.

Wal-Marts in the Capital City and across the country kept their normal hours on Thanksgiving Day with Black Friday deals becoming effective at 6 p.m. The store on Stadium Boulevard was already packed at that hour, and KRCG 13 saw cars parked along the curb and in the grass around the store's parking lot.

At a Target across the street, a line stretched from the main entrance on the northwest corner all the way along the front of the building. The crowd was significantly smaller at a nearby Kohl's, where about a dozen people had gathered about two hours before the store opened. Target and Kolhl's both opened at 8 p.m.

Jefferson City resident Brent Foster told KRCG 13 he was waiting in line at Kohl's to pick up a mixer and a new waffle iron. He said he has taken part in Black Friday for the last 5 years and shopped on Thanksgiving last year. Foster said these shopping trips did not impact his Thanksgiving plans.

"Everybody was done eating by about 2 o'clock, we cleaned up by about 5, we came over here and there weren't too many in line, so it actually worked out pretty well for us," he said.

Thursday's shopping spree comes amid declining interest in Black Friday. A poll released Tuesday by Consumer Reports suggests 56 percent of Americans will not go shopping that day. About 70 percent of the people surveyed said they wanted to avoid the crowds. In addition, about a third said they would rather do something else and 30 percent said they did not want to get up early. Among those who said they would go shopping, 69 percent said they would shop at walk-in stores.