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Stores lure deal-hungry shoppers on Thanksgiving

Black Friday, long recognized as the official start of the Christmas holiday shopping season, has been trumped this year by Brown Thursday, traditionally observed as the Thanksgiving holiday.


Reflecting a nationwide trend, shoppers came out in droves to South Boston retailers who broke with tradition and opened Thanksgiving Day for holiday sales, including Shelly Talbott.

Talbott, bundled up against the evening chill, had been waiting outside Belk in South Boston since 5 p.m. for the doors to open at 8.

First and foremost on her wish list was a pair of Rampage Walden boots, marked down from $79 to $19.99.

“That’s a good deal,” said Talbott.

Stephanie Snead was #32 in line waiting for Belk to open Thursday evening when normally she would have been home eating Thanksgiving dinner with her family.

This year, however, she patiently waited for the sale to begin in hopes of snagging Keurig coffee makers, the perfect Christmas present for family members.

Others in line said they were ready to make a beeline for the specials on Belk’s boots once the doors opened, and still others had received promise vouchers for Belk gift certificates once they got in the store.

Charles Bowes and his brother, Curtis, each had a promise card for gift certificates, as did Shakiyla Moses, Jasmine Bryant and Diamond Reed, who also had Rampage Walden boots on their minds.

Walmart shoppers Carolyn, Sarah and Anna Lewis had their hearts set on tablets, so much so that mom Carolyn volunteered to stand in line for four hours — from 4 to 8 p.m. — to snag a pair for her girls.

While mom waited in line, Sarah and Anna scurried throughout the store looking for deals, and they came away satisfied with $5 steals on several of their favorite movies.

Shatece Breedlove had a smile on her face and a pair of $98 32-inch Class LED HDTVs in her shopping cart as she left Walmart, her mission completed, while long lines formed inside the store for $49 RCA Dual Core Tablets.

Vanesha Ferrell, along with Keyona Ferrell and Martia Ferrell, accompanied by baby Krisiah Ferrell, had been waiting in line since 5 p.m. Thursday for the 8 p.m. sale to start. 

Walker Pannell had a cart full of gifts, including a basketball, a mixer and rugs.

“I didn’t have a list coming in, just ideas,” said a beaming Panell.

“My mission has been accomplished,” he grinned.

Codi Francis of South Boston arrived at Walmart around 4 p.m. to begin waiting for season DVDs of her favorite television shows.

After waiting in line for two hours, Francis purchased Season 4 of Vampire Diaries and Season 3 of The Walking Dead for $10 each.

Chase Hetzell of Oak Level arrived at Walmart at roughly 4 p.m. to wait in line for a wristband to purchase a television on sale.


“He received the wristband at 6 p.m. and was able to purchase the Emerson 1080p LED 50-inch at 8 p.m.