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Black Friday Kicks Off Holiday Shopping Season

To be sure, it's not clear whether the longer hours will turn into extra dollars for retailers, or whether sales will simply be spread out over two days.

The Thanksgiving openings appeared to create two waves of shoppers â¿¿ the late-nights and the early birds.

Sam Chandler and his wife, Lori, were among the night owls. They started shopping at midnight on Thanksgiving. By the time they reached the Wal-Mart in Greenville, S.C., early Friday, they had already hit several stores, including Target and Best Buy.

"We've learned over the years, you have to stand in line early and pray," Sam said.

Stu and April Schatz of Rockland County, N.Y., went to the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, N.J., which didn't open until 7 a.m. on Black Friday, because they didn't want to deal with the crowds that show up late on Thanksgiving night.

"It's so much more civilized going in the morning," said April Schatz, a teacher. "We wanted to enjoy our evening."

___

Anne D'Innocenzio reported from New York. Contributing to this report were Mae Anderson in New York, Candice Choi in Paramus, N.J., and Mitch Weiss in Greenville, S.C.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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