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Thanksgiving Day: It’s all about turkey, pilgrims and doorbusters.

The holiday shopping season began on Thanksgiving as the first stores opened for what has become a two day shopping spree known as Grey Thursday and Black Friday. opening, with about 50 people in front of her.

“I’ll be in and out,” Torres said, planning to buy discounted housewares and bedding. Shopping on the holiday doesn’t bother her. She said she has done it in past years in South Florida and New York. Black Friday9469 W. Thanksgiving. Black Friday9469 W. Thanksgiving.

Best Buy, Kmart, Kohl’s, Target and many others opened Thursday evening. Some stores and malls planned to remain open through the night and into Black Friday, Other shopping centers were scheduled to close around midnight and open at the crack of dawn.

Rayna Owes, from Alabama and visiting family in West Palm Beach, said her group had Thanksgiving lunch and then split up to shop and save.

Rayna headed to JCPenney in Boynton Beach determined to buy herself at least three pair of size 8 1/2 boots. The boots are advertised at $19.99, she said, and regularly would cost around $60.

Her mom and aunt went to Target and Walmart.

“I may join them later,” said Owes, 20.

The average shopper this season will spend about $800, according to the National Retail Federation. Holiday shopping accounts for about 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales.

The Florida Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will increase 4.5 percent compared with 2014. Nationally, retail sales for the November and December holiday season are projected to go up 3.7 percent.

Retailers figure Florida will do better than the national average because tourists flock here for the warm weather and then go shopping. Locals also are feeling more confident about their jobs, the housing market and the overall economy, encouraging them to spend money on gifts, the Florida trade group said.

Marta Cerra, from Argentina, walked into Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise wheeling a suitcase she planned to fill with gifts for her family.

“I was here two years ago for the holiday and saved a lot of money,” said Cerra, 58, who this year planned to spend up to $600. in Sunrise, Michelet Meronard paid about $8,
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000 for 12 TVs ranging from 32 inches to 65 inches, plus headphones, speakers and Bluetooth devices.

Meronard, visiting South Florida from the Bahamas, said he would have paid at least $3,000 more for the merchandise if he had bought it back home.

“You save a lot here,” the 42 year old shopper said. opening, with customers ready to pay for speakers, headphones and other electronics.

Sawgrass Mills had long lines of customers clustered at each of the mall’s entrances. Others dashed forward with their wheeled suitcases, and others rushed straight to the stores they had in mind.

Mino Hong, 20, from Coconut Creek was destined for the Ugg store. She’s traveling to Canada next month for Christmas and needs jackets and boots, she said.

“I probably won’t be using those Ugg boots again, at least not here in South Florida, so I figured I should buy them now when they have good deals on them,” Hong said.

Within an hour of opening, customers strolled around weighed down with shopping bags in hand and over their shoulders. Many had to step aside, walk to a wall to avoid tripping over other shoppers and then open suitcases to stuff them with shoes and clothing bought at the mall’s stores.

Luanne Lenberg, Sawgrass’ vice president and general manager, said she noticed many of the mall’s stores have to manage lines, letting in a set amount at a time, because they were at capacity.

“Gucci, Tory Burch and others, they all have very long lines, so that’s a pretty good indicator that we have shoppers out and waiting to get into stores,” Lenberg said. “We are very encouraged by the early traffic and amount of people waiting in lines.”

She believes Black Friday also will be busy. The mall will stay open for more than 24 consecutive hours. Friday.
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