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Stores will be busy across the state in preparation for the holidays. Some stores are open the day of Thanksgiving, while others open their doors early on Black Friday. Want to get a head start on yourMore >>
The official start to the holiday shopping season is earlier than ever before with many retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day.More >>
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Camping out for deals on Thanksgiving weekend has become a part of the Black Friday culture across the nation.
As store hours have ticked back over the years, with some locations now forgoing observing the holiday all together, shoppers find themselves needing to secure a spot in line earlier than ever.
By the time Best Buy Pearl City's doors open for Black Friday sales, one group of friends will have camped out for five nights -- all for a chance at a 50-inch TV marked down to $199.
The seven guys have their Black Friday strategy down to a science. They each have scheduled shifts determined by when they have to be at work or taking care of their families. They say they look forward to and enjoy the experience each year.
"Some people call us nuts for doing it, but if you're with a bunch of people you want to hang out with and at the same time there's something you want to get -- hey, I don't see anything wrong," said Mike Ulep, one of the seven taking turns waiting in line.
Others were shocked to find out folks were already camping out.
"It's totally insane. I'm not even gonna be out for Black Friday or any other time. I'm not a shopper," Kelli Pascua said, adding she prefers to buy her gifts online.
Local Best Buy managers say shoppers are lining up earlier and earlier every year, but even they were surprised to find folks gathering up on Saturday.
"It's a lot of the same people who have been there every year ... and it's fun they come and say, 'Hey Shawn, how's it going? How soon can we come out?' I say, 'When you want.' Usually it's Sunday afternoon, but it's really early this year -- it's Saturday. It's crazy, it's fantastic," said Pearl City store manager Shawn Troup.
Employees say there's no reason to wait in line with the crowd til their doors open Thursday.
They're already offering one big screen TV for 40% off -- a deal they say is better than any of their Black Friday sales. Plus, they have a newly released smartphone for just $1.
As for the early bird bargain hunters, they plan to have their cake and eat it too -- of course, that means their Thanksgiving feast. They say they have no intention to skip out on the traditional turkey meal.
It's just a matter of who will be in charge of cooking what once they leave with their loot.