CLEVELAND-– Partly for the savings and partly for the experience, shoppers lined up outside area stores on Thanksgiving morning, expecting to get a jump on Black Friday deals.
A short line of shoppers formed to score door-buster savings when Kmart opened in Cleveland at 6 a.m. For others, the wait dragged on.
Deal-seekers began camping outside the Best Buy on Brookpark Road in Cleveland Wednesday morning, with about two dozen people braving the elements by Thanksgiving morning.
“The heater’s keeping everything warm,” said Leonard Thompson, who was first in line and came prepared with a tent. “I slept like a baby.”
Jami Alferink came to Best Buy straight from her overnight shift working as a hospice caregiver. She was bundled up alongside several relatives.
“I was up all night long, and then I came here,” she said. “I have my scrubs on underneath.”
Despite warmer than usual temperatures, a biting wind chilled the air.
“I looked at the weather. They said it was going to be 60. I kind of forgot about the wind,"
said Robert Kilpatrick, of Parma. "I don't even need a TV. I'm just here cause it's a great deal.”
Shoppers said it’s a tradition that’s worth it for hundreds of dollars in savings on electronics like televisions, tablets and laptops.
“It’s a good experience. A lot of people walk up and say, ‘Why do you guys do it?’ It’s fun,” said Arica Thompson, of Cleveland.
Kmart shoppers scored 50 percent off clothing and Christmas decoration. Some picked up last minute essentials for preparing their Thanksgiving feast. Joe James, of Brook Park, purchased a turkey oven.
“The other stores didn’t have it, so this one did. I got lucky,” he said.
Despite a nationwide offer of $1 million to one lucky shopper who is among the first 50 in line at Old Navy stores, there was not a line outside the Strongsville location hours before it opened its doors at 4 p.m.
Parking lots were empty at the Strongsville Target and SouthPark Mall, which did not open until 6 p.m.
Some stores bucked the trend altogether, with Bed, Bath & Beyond and T.J. Maxx among the stores remaining closed on the holiday.
Best Buy shoppers said they’re ready for the wait to be done.
“I can’t wait,” Kilpatrick said. “I gotta get home and get some sleep.”