By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans are eager to be the first to gobble up Black Friday deals — a day early.

Big stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving include Target, Macy’s, Sears, Kohl’s, and JCPenney. A few customers even camped out at the Best Buy in Apple Valley to make sure they got what they were looking for.

They came early, and they came ready. Armed with catalogs, shopping on Thanksgiving became a new tradition for many families this year.

Regardless of what ended up in their carts or in their hands, these shoppers all came for one thing: a good deal.

black friday shoppers line up on thanksgiving 2018 Minnesotans Gobble Up Black Friday Deals On Thanksgiving

(credit: CBS)

They are all a part of an estimated 34-million Americans shopping on Thanksgiving. It’s the first in a five-day holiday shopping spree that ends with Cyber Monday.

The Crown Jewel in the holiday shopping crown is still Black Friday, with 116 million people hitting the stores – making it the busiest shopping day of the year.

According to Retail Me Not, consumers are expected to spend an average of $803 each on Black Friday.

The most popular present is not electronics, but clothing and accessories, followed closely by gift cards, according to the National Retail Federation.

Some places were closed Thursday for the holiday, including the largest mall in the country. Mall of America will re-open at 5 a.m. Friday. The first 200 guests will get gift cards valued at $10 to $500. There will also be music and special appearances in the rotunda all weekend long.

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