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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Crowds of shoppers lined up at Sawgrass Mills Mall on Thanksgiving evening, digging for deals and hoping to scoop up sales items as the holiday shopping season officially kicked off.

“‪It’s like an event for us,” said Janie Frazier. “Something to be a part of.”

‪Sandy Rosen hoped to get a bag she’s wanted at Michael Kors. She believes it’s possible to have family time and shopping time on Thanksgiving.

“‪(The stores are) very considerate,” she said. “They start the sales at 6 pm. So you start at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and then you’re off to the madness.”

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‪Not every store at Sawgrass Mills was open. Burberry said they won’t open until Friday morning. Shopper Lauren Wright is not a fan, though, employees having to work on Thanksgiving.

“‪It should be Black Friday, not Black Thursday,” she said. “They should start in the morning and not have to work Thanksgiving. They should be with their families.”

‪But Elias Daldi, inventory manager at One Click, said he’s fine with working.

“‪Most of us actually volunteered,” he said. “So, no one ‘s here forceful. Everyone’s more than happy to come, work and instead of a Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a lunch.”

‪Shopper Ben Hsiuh said he saved a ton of money on bags at Coach and he said the best part of shopping on Thanksgiving is avoiding the rush on Black Friday.

“‪It’s great for all the shoppers who don’t have to get that early – 3 or 4 in the morning – and beat everybody through the doors,” he said.

‪Yet some said they feel that Thanksgiving should not be about shopping and deals and saving money. ‪Ashley Benson said it should be about family.

“‪It’s crazy,” she said. “It’s Thanksgiving. Everyone should be home eating and being a family and not shopping. But who am I to say? I’m here. But I’m saying it’s crazy. I’ll never do it again.”

Sawgrass Mills Mall is open for 27 and a half continuous hours of holiday shopping.

Various stores in South Florida will also keep their doors open on Thanksgiving Day.

The following stores are set to open at the designated times below:

6 a.m. – KMart
All day- Walmart
8 a.m. – Radio Shack
4 p.m. – Gap and Old Navy
5 p.m. – Best Buy
5 p.m. – Dick’s Sporting Goods
5 p.m. – J.C. Penney
5 p.m. – Toys R Us
6 p.m. – Kohl’s
6 p.m. – Sears
6 p.m. – Macy’s
6 p.m. – Target

Accoriding to the National Retail Federation more than half of Americans will be shopping this Thanksgiving Weekend.

The federation expects:
140 Million Americans Likely Shop
18.3% on Thanksgiving Day
68.2%  on Black Friday
42.9%  on Saturday
21.6% on Sunday

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Carey Codd

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