Black Friday comes a day early for some Austin stores

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist JOHN FISHER and KVUE.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 22 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- There is some controversy this Thanksgiving over holiday shopping.

Many retailers have decided to open Thursday, trying to jump start their sales.

Several people lined up for the opportunity to nab Black Friday sales early. Best Buy in East Austin opens at midnight, but many in line told KVUE they got there before 10 a.m. Thursday.

Target planned to open at 9 p.m., and Walmart was open all day Thursday.

KVUE also found a local shop on South Congress open for the first time on Thanksgiving. The owner of Mi Casa Gallery, James Luedeke, says he wanted to see what kind of business the day would bring.

He said since the crowds, as well as locals, didn't make it to South Congress during Formula 1 weekend because of blocked off streets. But  Luedeke says he's willing to work on the holiday to make up for lost time.

"We're behind four days last week which were critical for November and December. Critical for small merchants," he said.

But, he added, he is willing to work the holiday to make up for lost time. He says this will be his shop's 17th Christmas on South Congress. For the past three years he has also opened on New Year's Day.

This Thanksgiving he planned to close at 1 p.m. because he didn't want to compete with the UT football game.

While Target planned to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving and close at 11 p.m. Black Friday, the store e-mailed customers Thursday with sales.

Many stores offered Black Friday deals online a day early. But many still lined up, ready to spend their Thanksgiving outside to save a buck.

Meanwhile on South Congress, Mi Casa being open gave some tourists the opportunity to shop, and since others were closed, it's something they say they're thankful for.

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