MISSOULA, Mont. - It's the busiest retail day of the year, with shoppers getting up and out earlier and earlier to take advantage of holiday deals.
A trio of siblings were running on Red Bull at 3 a.m. Friday, after getting to the mall Thursday night.
"We were in line since 9 p.m," says Brooke Marchant, who was waiting in the Southgate Mall Sears to buy a deeply discounted plasma TV.
Her brother Dustin tells NBC Montana : "As far as savings go, you can't really beat it, as far as that goes. It's a good opportunity."
For shoppers it's an opportunity to take advantage of once-a-year sale prices, score big-ticket items for hundreds of dollars off, and have some new experiences as well.
This is my very first year," says Brooke. "I panicked a little bit when they opened the gates at Sears. Everybody was just [running] to everything. It was crazy."
Sears is one of many retailers around the country to open Thanksgiving evening, starting their holiday sale at 8 p.m., which is good for shoppers and stores alike.
"We can help our retailers have a positive upturn for the entire year. A lot of it's gauged in this 4th quarter period, so their sales do depend a lot on these next few weeks," says Trish Piedalue, Southgate Mall's marketing director.
"Waiting in line for 5, 6 even 8 hours, it's worth it to me because I'm saving that money and can put in towards something else," says Todd Marchant, the oldest of the bunch.
This was Todd's second Black Friday outing.
"You do get some pretty good deals if you know what you're looking for. If I can wait until Black Friday [to make a big ticket purchase] its not a big deal."