CONCORD, N.C. -- The chaotic scene, usually reserved for Black Friday happened a day earlier at businesses across the Carolinas.
Hundreds of shoppers at each of the six entrances at Concord Mills, rushed in, doors opened at 8 p.m.
Ray Soporowski, Concord Mills' General Manager says the crowds were not as large as they typical Black Fridays of previous years, but he expects an inflow of customers from other big-box retailers, offering incredible door-busters Thursday night.
"They are going to do that shopping, and then they are going to come here. Opening at 8:00, I think it was a family atmosphere, something for them to do after they had their Thanksgiving dinner. I think they are going to benefit because there are some great bargains going on right now," he said.
At 6pm, the neighboring Best Buy opened its door to a line wrapped around the building.
Chris Jones who had his eyes on the Toshiba Laptop bundle, says he arrived at 11:30am, to find he was a the first person in line. He was done shopping before the store officially opened. Best Buy opened 10 minutes ahead of schedule, to manage the crowd.
"It wasn't too cold today, the sun was out for a while. They let everybody in 20-30 at a time, so there was no mad dash, so all was good," he said.
Nick and Emilio Graf said they spent some quality father-an-son time waiting in line after an early Thanksgiving dinner.
"My wife is at home with my daughter so we came early," said Emilio.
"We got a 50 inch Vizio Smart TV, retail price is $899, we got it for $599," said Nick.
Shopper Karthik Parthasarathy says he waited only one hour in line and still managed to snag what he wanted: A Nikon Camera.
When asked why he chose to leave his family on Thanksgiving to go shopping, he said, to save his family $200 for a lifetime of memories.
"This is one of those thing that you really can capture favorite moments."
For the Cobb Family of Maiden, it wasn't so much as finding bargains, but just spending time together. The couple's four children tagged along.
"Just enjoying each other, just some time out together, which we don't normally do,"said Portlynn Cobb.
"Lot of good time, we get out and spend a little money, let the kids see what it is about, that's all, said her husband, Albert.