Black Thursday draws various reviews (Video)
Nov. 22, 2012 at 5:22 a.m.
Updated Nov. 23, 2012 at 5:23 a.m.
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A hush fell over Sears at 8 p.m. Thursday as an overhead speaker came to life with a message: The store was opening its doors.
With the turn of a key, savvy shoppers in search of doorbuster deals sprinted their way in.
The retailer might not have waited for the clock to click to midnight - the official start to Black Friday - but it wasn't alone.
A number of Crossroads-area stores bumped sales up to Thursday night, a decision that drew mixed responses from the night's shoppers.
Post-Thanksgiving shopping is all about the adrenaline rush for Regina Bryan, a Victoria nurse who, like a number of her friends, donned a T-shirt that read "Move it or lose it, it's Black Friday!"
Bryan said the shopping spree is a tradition but admitted she wasn't fond of the earlier hours.
"It's Black Friday," she said outside Sears about 6 p.m. Thursday. "We're here because we do it each year, but I don't like this."
Her friend, Krystin Ortiz, agreed, noting she felt opening on Thursday took away from the experience.
"It's fun to camp out all night," she said. "But when you begin at 8 p.m. it's like, 'That's it?'"
Other shoppers said the change was a good thing.
Victoria teacher Cheryl Garza was first in line outside Bealls, which also opened at 8 p.m. She said she preferred staying up late to rising early for bargains.
"It's just easier," said Garza, who took a "divide and conquer" strategy, with her husband seeking out Wal-Mart buys.
Yadira Gomez, who sat behind her in line, agreed.
"It's better to just get it done early," she said with a glance at 4-year-old Franky Cornejo, a nephew who accompanied her while shopping.
Melissa Gutierrez, who stood at the front of Target's line alongside boyfriend, Fernando Galarza, remained neutral.
She said she knew early hours would probably bother others, but she didn't mind the switch.
Thanksgiving has never been a major holiday to her, the Jack in the Box team leader said, so it was OK to hit the stores.
"Now, if it was Christmas," she said, "that would be another story."