PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping season.
As usual, stores around the Pittsburgh area opened overnight, just as they did all across the country, to accommodate all the early bird shoppers looking for Black Friday deals.
Local malls are overflowing with shoppers and local stores are packed after long lines formed outside late Thanksgiving night.
Old Navy re-opened at midnight, Kohl’s at 3 a.m., Macy’s, JCPenney and Target at 4 a.m. Also, both the Prime Outlets in Grove City and the Tanger Outlets in Washington County opened at midnight.
Two of the hottest places to be today are Toys ‘R’ Us and Best Buy.
The line practically wrapped around the building late Thursday night at the Toys ‘R’ Us in Ross Township. It opened its doors at 10 p.m.
This morning, they have employees directing traffic near the cash registers as the overflow of shoppers continues.
Shopper, Amy Nichols, said she is planning to spend around $400 to $500 on toys this holiday season. She already had a “Bop It” game in her cart.
“We’re looking at all the toys for all the kids – nieces, nephews, cousins, my kids, my godkids,” she said.
Meanwhile, over in Cranberry Township a long line formed overnight at Best Buy. The store opened at 5 a.m. and the shoppers rushed in to hunt for the best deals on electronics.
One couple, John and Dawn from Zelienople, came out hoping to get their hands on a new laptop. They waited in line for about 15 to 20 minutes.
“We came for a Toshiba laptop, it was on sale for $189.99,” said John.
However, by the time they got into the store, the item was already gone. But the couple says they have other stops to make this Black Friday.
“We’ve got other stuff on the list, so we’re going to head to other stores and look at other stuff too,” added John.
Behind the scenes, there’s lots of preparation that goes on before Black Friday.
“We start a lot of prep back in late August, early September,” said Frank Gales, the manager of the Cranberry Township Best Buy. “We start hiring a lot of new employees. We start a lot of our training programs. So that when today comes, we’re prepared and ready for all of our customers.”
Gales says this year’s hot items in electronics include laptops and gaming systems.
“Xbox came out with a new Kinect system this year and Sony came out with the new Move. Customers have been grabbing those up,” he said. “The big thing this year has been iPads from Apple, and we have tons of those.”
“This has probably been one of the better years with the manufacturers keeping us in stock with all the promotional items and with all categories,” added Gales. “So, it’s a great year to come out on Black Friday for sure.”