Shoppers waiting outside of Target on Thanksgiving night. (Zach Dietmeier/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski and Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - No major incidents have been reported from Black Friday shoppers in the Twin Cities this year.
Stores opened earlier and the crowds were willing to avoid the lines and get what they want. Despite the staggered opening times, shoppers did still have to fight for the items they wanted.
"It's craziness. There were a bunch of people jumping on each other for some video games," one woman said outside of the WalMart in Normal. "I actually walked by somebody in a different aisle and he was going to put it (video game) back and I got it, so I didn't have to be in the middle of a brawl."
Industry analysts say the number of Thanksgiving Day shoppers grew from three percent in 2009 to 24 percent last year. They say consumers, not retailers, are driving the trend of earlier shopping times. But, two-thirds of the respondents in a new Google Survey say they think retailers have "gone too far" by starting the big post-Thanksgiving shopping day on the holiday itself.
"It's convenient for the people who want to buy things but inconvenient for the people who want to spend time with their family on a holiday," another man said in the Twin Cities Thursday night.
Bloomington Police only had one arrest, a suspected retail theft at Kmart.
A number of national stores chose to open their doors on Thursday night - Target, Kmart, Sears, Walmart and Toys R Us, among them. As the economy continues to rebound, some analysts are predicting a surge in consumer spending this year.