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.

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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.

(credit: CBS)

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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.

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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.