- Associated Press - Friday, November 28, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Kimberly Jackson pushed through a crowd at the Montgomery Target around 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night in search of bargains.

She got what she came for: An RCA tablet on sale for $39.99.

Twelve hours later she returned to the retailer Friday to procure a more practical item: Pampers. With the crowds thinned to almost weekend levels, she was able to get quickly in and out of the store.

With most box retailers opening their doors early, the frenzied mayhem of post-Thanksgiving shopping belonged to Thursday night. That created a quieter shopping experience in some locations on Black Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

“If you want the big ticket items, you have to come early,” said Jackson, 26, who also went to Wal-Mart and Old Navy on Thanksgiving night.

From Huntsville to Mobile, shoppers lined up hours ahead of Thanksgiving night openings in search of the deep discounts on televisions, computers and toys.

Triphenia Guice told the Montgomery Advertiser that she slept overnight Wednesday at Best Buy to be first in line to get a $200 television when the Montgomery store opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“I slept in the car, slept in a chair, slept on the ground,” Guice said.

Some Thursday shoppers said they didn’t like the Thanksgiving Day openings, but were still lured by the possibility of bargain prices.

Yolanda Long, 43, of Eight Mile told Al.com that she camped outside a Mobile Best Buy with a tent, blankets and portable heater waiting for the 5 p.m. Thanksgiving opening.

“I don’t like the fact that they’ve changed it to Thanksgiving Day. But I must like it. I’m out here,” Long said.

After the initial Thursday night crush, a steady second wave of shoppers still crowded into stores on Friday during the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

The Thursday rush also meant shoppers who spent their Thanksgiving at home missed out of the deepest door-buster discounts.

“Nothing left,” muttered a woman who was in search of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for her grandson.

Jackson said while she shops the stores for bargains on Thanksgiving night, she is not going to give up her entire holiday to stand in a line.

“I don’t need anything that much,” Jackson said.

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