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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Black Friday creeps into Thanksgiving permanently?

This season appears to mark the end of Black Friday as we know it.

For decades, stores have opened their doors in wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday. But this year, that changed when major chains from Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving itself, turning the traditional busiest shopping day of the year into a two-day affair.

That meant some shoppers could head straight from the dinner table to stores on Turkey Day. Others who wanted to fall into a turkey-induced slumber could still head out to stores early on Black Friday. Stores were able to attract both groups by offering door buster sales from $179 40-inch flat-screen TVs to $10 jeans at different times of the day.

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Why must we buy? Black Friday's powerful pull

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. (AP) â¿¿ Gravy was still warm. Dallas Cowboys were still in uniform. Thanks were still being given across the country as the pilgrimages to the stores began, heralding a new era of American consumerism.

Lured by earlier-than-ever Black Friday sales, people left Grandma and Grandpa in search of Samsung and Toshiba. They did not go blindly: In dozens of interviews, people acknowledged how spending has become inseparable from the holidays. Older folks pined for the days of Erector Sets and Thumbelinas while in line to pay iPad prices. Even some younger shoppers said it felt wrong to be spending money instead of quality time on Thanksgiving.

"But we're still out here," said Kelly Jackson, a paralegal who was standing inside a Best Buy store in the Pittsburgh suburbs, a 32-inch television ($189) in her cart. It was a consolation prize: Despite four hours on line, she missed the cheaper 40-inchers ($179) that she had heard about while listening to Internet radio.

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