Shopping update: Crowds light at the few stores open early

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am

It was a shopper's paradise Thanksgiving morning — that is, if you didn't mind the limited store selection.

There were no crowds and plenty of parking in front of the few stores that were open to lure the early birds looking to get the jump on Black Friday.

Old Navy at Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion opened at 9 a.m and welcomed three customers in the door.

It was a spur of the moment decision for Anthony and Keri-Anne Spaduzzi of Bellevue to check out the Thanksgiving sale at Old Navy.

"We were picking up our full turkey dinner at Hy-Vee and we just happened to drive by and see they were open," Anthony said.

For a couple that doesn't like crowds, it was the perfect time to shop. Within an hour they had filled two Old Navy shopping bags full of T-shirts, pants and clothes for their two children.

"We both gained a little weight, so it was a good time to try some things on," said Keri-Anne, who said she does 90 percent of her shopping online.

With the 40 percent discount, their cost of their purchases dropped from $560 to $336, plus a bonus $50 rewards card they could use later.

"Now we just go home, warm the turkey up--it's pre-cooked--and enjoy our Thanksgiving," Anthony Spaduzzi said.

Big Lots at 132nd Plaza opened at 7 a.m. The first hour was busy, a store clerk said, and then "it just fizzled out."

At noon, Beth and Brian Cutsor of Omaha stopped at Big Lots to check out a group of recliners that were on sale. The couple hadn't planned to go shopping on Thanksgiving, but a sale flyer lured them to the store.

"We've been looking for a recliner for about a year, and these were on sale only today," Beth said as she waited for her husband to choose between the faux black leather recliner and the cushier fabric-covered one.

"We're not having family dinner until later," she said. "We didn't go out just to shop. This is something we needed."

The crowds are expected to appear later Thursday as many stores launch their Black Friday sales anywhere from 4 p.m. to 8 p. m. or later.

Nationwide, about 33 million people said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving. Altogether, about 140 million people plan to shop either today, Friday, Saturday or Subday, according to the National Retail Federation.

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