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Why Must We Buy? Black Friday's Powerful Pull

"Our family is here," said Bredholt, who works for a health-care company. "With five guys on one mattress, you gotta be family."

Karen Jefferson, 49, also has found family on line at Best Buy, beyond her husband and three children. She was there Wednesday, seated on a folding chair, clutching a rolled-up circular.

"I'm missing Thanksgiving, and my husband thinks I'm crazy," said Jefferson, who works at a mortgage insurance company. "But I do this every year . because I enjoy meeting people and the people that come when I do. I mean, you see the same people year after year. And I do get some very good deals."

What about studies that have shown better deals are available at other times of the year?

"Oh, really?" Jefferson said. "You just think, Black Friday! Oh, my gosh, that's the deal of the year."

"Maybe that's something I need to look into," she continued. "Because, I mean, if these aren't good deals, then what are we DOING then?"

__

Jesse Washington can be reached at http://twitter.com/jessewashington or jwashington(at)ap.org.

___

AP National Writer Allen Breed in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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