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Some shoppers not waiting until Black Friday

Some eager Fredericksburg-area bargain shoppers couldn’t even wait until Thanksgiving night to hit area shopping centers.

Many area retailers are starting their Black Friday sales tonight, but a small handful of stores opened Thanksgiving morning. Among those were Old Navy, Gander Mountain and Kmart.

About 70 people were waiting outside Gander Mountain off State Route 3 in Spotsylvania County when the store opened at 9 a.m. today, said store manager Matt Watson. Many of the shoppers were looking for deals on turkey fryers, safes, firearms, apparel and more.

Watson said Gander Mountain opened on Thanksgiving the past five years as well. The store is open today until midnight, longer hours than in past years. It re-opens for Black Friday at 6 a.m. Watson said employees are working shorter shifts today — between four and six hours — so they can have time with their families. He said the mornings tend to be busy, and then things slow down until late afternoon while people have their Thanksgiving meals.

There was a line of people wrapped around the Kmart store off State Route 3 in Spotsylvania when it opened today at 6 a.m., workers at the store said. Some of the bargain-hunters had been there since late Wednesday night looking to get the best deals. Others waited in line throughout Thanksgiving day to get discounted Black Friday merchandise when the store reopens tonight at 8 after closing for four hours.

-Bill Freehling

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