GASTONIA, N.C. -- Shoppers are braving the extreme cold for a chance to snag some great bargains a day early.
Travis Hensley of Gastonia is among the dozen or so people who pitched tents outside the Best Buy in Gastonia Wednesday night. He arrived Tuesday.
"Everyone is asking, "Why, why are you out here," said Hensley. "I've been camping before but not in front of a Best Buy, so why not? I'm helping out my friend, he has been waiting in line. He has done this for the 11th year. He is trying to get home and warm his family little bit."
This is 17-year-old Joseph Walker's third year camping out at Best Buy.
"It's a whole lot colder this year," he said.
They brought hand-warmers and extra blankets to help get through the night but admit, there is no way around the cold. Walker said he braves the cold partly for the deals, but more because of tradition.
"It's the same first 15 people every year. It's like a family reunion but without the drama," he said.
Best Buy General Manager, Joe Marshall said his team has put long hours into making the Black Friday transition to Thursday. Employees were seen stocking the floor with electronics in preparation for the 100+ deals they will have in the works.
Door-buster deals will stagger, with the first offered at the 6 p.m. opening hour, then midnight and 10 a.m. on Black Friday. Best Buy plans to pass out maps showing the layout of the store and line maps to help crowd control.
"In fact all of the employees I have working tomorrow at this location have volunteered to come in and help get good gifts for their families," said Marshall.
Tracy Huss left the Toys R Us Wednesday night with a cart full of toys.
"No, I'm not done -- just getting started," he said.
He didn't seem anxious to spend Thanksgiving shopping, but glad to know he has an option to hit the stores -- with his family's blessing.
"I'll wait until I eat Thanksgiving dinner, then I'll go. No, they shouldn't give me a hard time," he said.