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Merrimack Valley

November 28, 2013

Camping out for deals

Hundreds spent part of Thanksgiving in store lines


Bargain hunters and those looking for hot holiday gifts before they sell out have been lining up at stores for years, but until recently those frenzies have waited until early Friday, when the turkey has digested, the pie is gone and the arguing over politics ends.

Families in line said they made other arrangements for their Thanksgiving meals. Felipe LaSanta, of Lawrence, waited in line at Target, also looking at that 50-inch TV, had his Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday. The Merciers at Best Buy said they will have Thanksgiving today.

Thousands of people came here yesterday, many from Massachusetts. The line at Best Buy on Broadway began building in earnest yesterday afternoon, shoppers said, and had roughly 200 people winding around the side of the building.

At Target just up the road, about 100 waited, thinking about the cheap TVs and the new XBox One game consoles on their checklists while standing in temperatures that fell below freezing after sunset.

Wal-Mart had two sales yesterday with rolling starts, one at 6 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. The line to get into the parking lot stretched along Broadway for a quarter mile, back to Old Rockingham Road. The lot was packed; cars didn’t move. Lots at nearby stores, like the closed Dollar Tree, also were full with Wal-Mart shoppers who walked to the store.

Shoppers packed the Mall at Rockingham Park by 8 p.m., waiting in line to get into Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret.

Stores in Massachusetts are prohibited by law from opening on Thanksgiving. Most of the national retailers opened after midnight this morning.

Roland Mercier Sr. said he liked that the stores opened on Thanksgiving. “It’s good for the people who need the work and good for people who need the discounts,” he said.


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