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Thanksgiving Day Starts Holiday Shopping Season

12:43 PM, Nov 29, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Thanksgiving Day serves as a marker for the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

This year, it marks the beginning of 25 days of holiday shopping until Christmas, and is when most people head out shopping to cross gifts off lists for family members and friends.

The days between the two holidays spell some of the busiest days of the year for retailers, and this holiday season is no different.

"I try to find something for Christmas for my daughters," said Maria Segura, a shopper at a Best Buy store on Two Notch Road in Columbia. 

Segura said she and her young daughter, Jarena, had been waiting at the front of a line of shoppers outside the store for about 24 hours.

The name of shopping this season appears to be electronics, which is why Segura said waiting in the line was worth it to them, as she was looking to buy at least one computer and printer.

"Well if I have hard work, I need to do it now because later, I'm going to be old, and I can't," Segura said.

A store manager said about 60 sales staff would be working to serve the line of shoppers, a figure well above the average number of employees who work the store at any one time.

The shoppers out on Thanksgiving this year represent a group the National Retail Federation says is becoming larger each year, hitting about 35 million shoppers in 2012, which is a number double what it was in 2008.

Many of them will be out looking for this season's hottest electronics, including TV's, video gaming systems and cell phones.

A new cell phone for his mother is what Michael D'Amelio says brought him out, although he said shopping on Thanksgiving day isn't exactly his preference.

"Me and my girlfriend were discussing that earlier, about the fact that (stores) are opening up at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m., and I want to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family," D'Amelio said, "but they want these things."

Others, like Derek Carrara, picking up a new Go Pro video camera to mount on his motorcycle, say Thanksgiving is only the start of the shopping season. 

"They had one for a good deal, so I picked one up," Carrera said of his latest purchase Thursday. "It's my first stop tonight, but it's not my last."

Ending day one of what's sure to be another busy season.

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