Shoppers show up early at SouthPark Mall for deals on Thanksgiving

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio-- They came. They saw. They shopped ‘til they dropped on Thanksgiving and walked away with some incredible bargains.

People were loading up on sweaters, boots and toys, but also purchasing expensive jewelry and appliances.

“The deals are awesome,” exclaimed Dorothy Kreijci, who was one of the first people through the doors at JCPenney in Strongsville. About 1,500 people joined her as the department store opened at 2 p.m. Thursday, the earliest of any department store.

General manager Julie Riley said it’s only the first day of holiday shopping and they’re already, “Busier than the last few years.”

Athletic gear from Nike was marked down 50 percent and many items offered for up to 70 percent off at JCPenney, with extra coupons and bonus incentives being offered there and just about everywhere at SouthPark Mall.

Thousands packed the mall which was open from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.

“It’s actually a tradition for us. My sister comes down from Michigan and we come out shopping,” said Sidia Hernandez.