Door-buster deals on flat-screen TVs trump turkey legs

Forget about Thanksgiving. For the handful of folks who started lining up outside Best Buy at 1 a.m. Thursday, turkey was the furthest thing on their minds.

Rather, these early birds craved deals on electronics, video games and televisions.

Katherine Nettleton, 18, and her sister, Destiny Skorup, 17, arrived at 3 a.m. Thursday, making themselves the second party in line for Best Buy’s midnight opening today. 

The girls’ father asked the two to wait in the line for the chance at nabbing a doorbuster deal, a 40-inch flat- screen television for $180.

Practically speaking, the 21-hour wait earned them nearly $11.50 an hour — a total savings of $240.

“I’m just happy it didn’t decide to snow or rain,” Nettleson said, soaking up rays near the store’s southwest-facing entrance Thursday afternoon.

During the early morning hours, Skorup and Nettleson were much colder, yet their boyfriends and a stack of blankets helped to keep them warm.

Judy Dillard “didn’t see a soul” when she and her daughter arrived at 1 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.

Dillard had also waited hours in line at Best Buy last year, but apparently not early enough. The first folks in line got there at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, Dillard said.

Though she was 30th in a line last year that stretched all the way across the parking lot to JCPenney, those efforts weren’t good enough.

Like other stores, the doorbuster deals are limited, and stores often don’t advertise how many of each sale item are available.

This year, Dillard wasn’t about to miss out on a killer deal — a 55-inch flat-screen television for $800.

“We’ve got a turkey in the freezer,” Dillard said. “It’s just the two of us, so it’s OK to pass.”

Best Buy offers fliers to some of the first people in line to ensure they can purchase the items they are seeking.

Plenty of stores around the Grand Valley were open late Thursday or at midnight today, eager to lure Black Friday shoppers.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will rise 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion this year, which is lower than the 5.6 percent increase seen in 2011.

According to the agency, 46 percent of retailers are planning Thanksgiving Day specials online as part of the Black Friday weekend specials.


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