EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 28, 2013

Camping out for deals

Hundreds spent part of Thanksgiving in store lines

SALEM, N.H. — A woman from Mansfield and her Methuen cousin got in line at Target about 4 p.m. yesterday. Others, eyes on the same giant TV with an equally giant discount, trickled in a little later.

Not to be outdone, one family from Haverhill got in line at Best Buy just before 4 p.m. On Wednesday.

Holiday shopping in New Hampshire has conquered Thanksgiving, as many major national retailers open their doors at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. Kmart opened at 6 a.m. yesterday and planned to stay open into tonight.

Ryan Anderson, of Dracut, got in line outside Target at about 4 p.m. yesterday, and was about a dozen people back, waiting for an 8 p.m. open. He, like most people in line, were motivated for a 50-inch television on sale for about $225.

What brought him out on a clear but cold holiday? “It’s the deals,” he said. “It’s not like this any other day.” A man behind him shouted, “My wife!”

At Best Buy, which opened at 6 p.m., staff handed out tickets printed on paper of various colors. The Merciers, of Haverhill, got in line at 4 p.m. Wednesday and camped out overnight. They were first in line, with a ticket to buy a camera. Early holiday shopping has become something of a tradition for them.

“We did it for the last five years,” said Vicki Mercier.

They brought a tent to stay overnight, but their son, Roland Jr., was the only one who slept in it. “We slept in the truck,” Vicki Mercier said.

Best Buy store general manager David St. Cyr said the color of the tickets matched one of a handful of products they thought would be in high demand, including cameras and laptops.

“The biggest thing we’re doing here is explaining how it works to people and letting people in, in an orderly fashion,” he said. “And we make sure everyone here gets something. No need to run, push or scream.”

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