Bargain shoppers bag deals earlier than ever

GALLATIN COUNTY

POSTED: 5:58 PM Nov 23 2012   UPDATED: 8:22 PM Nov 23 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Kori McKinney is a die-hard Black Friday shopper, or in the case of this year, a Thanksgiving Day shopper.

"I like it opening a little earlier because I can actually go to bed and not be out all night," says McKinney.

Folks started lining up at Target at 5 p.m. for its 9 p.m. opening.  McKinney arrived a little after six, with her eye on a 32 inch TV.  

By 10 minutes to 9, the line wrapped around the store and customers were gearing up for the mad dash to the best bargains.

"Got my sister here, so she's going to run and grab it first and I'm going to get the cart," explains McKinney.

The clock struck 9 and the doors opened.  Employees cautioned shoppers not to run as they let in groups of around 30 at a time, including McKinney and her competition.

"We ended up all getting TVs, so it all worked out," says shopper Cash Cline, who was also vying for that 32-inch TV.

McKinney says it was all worth it.

"Two-hour wait but for $100 savings, I would do it again," says McKinney.

It was a much different scene come late Friday morning at the Gallatin Valley Mall, but that doesn't mean it didn't see its share of crowds.  

Folks with the mall tell us there were lines when many stores opened at midnight and shoppers have turned out in waves ever since.

Many bargain hunters tell us they didn't have to start Thursday evening to get great deals.  

"Bath and Body Works, according to them, we got about three times as much value as what we spent so, we got a big bag-full," says Gallatin Valley resident Tricia Hilliard.

Hilliard left her house at 5:30 Friday morning.  She stopped at several big box stores for door-busters before hitting the mall.

"It wasn't too bad, surprisingly enough.  I think we kind of beat the crowds.  I bet they're worse this afternoon than there were early today," explains Hilliard.

Brenda Harris didn't get an early start, either.  She says she loves shopping in Bozeman so, she drove in from Townsend to try her luck.

"We started here in the mall, went to Barnes and Noble and hit all of the shops here in the mall.  We're headed to Target and all those stores next and see what kind of goodies we can find," says Harris.

Harris says she still has quite a bit more shopping to do, but that getting a later start meant smaller crowds.

As for Hilliard, six hours of shopping and she's finished.

"I think we're done.  Everybody got a little something so, it was all good," says Hilliard.