Some stores start Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving with pressure from online competition

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Black Friday is no longer just one day - It's more like five days. The critical period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is make-or-break for many retailers, especially those trying to compete with cyber giants, like Amazon.

To that end, more and more brick and mortar stores are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, trying to lure in shoppers, even a few hours ahead of the competition.

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So, Thanksgiving is no longer all about the turkey for those who opt to spend at least part of their day shopping.

Walmart in San Leandro is one of just a few stores that opened early and stayed that way, convenient for those looking to get a jump on the deep-discount holiday gift-buying.

"We actually came to Walmart at the last minute," said Sal Nieves, as he and his wife carted out a new caterpillar riding toy for their youngest grandchild. "We're going to go ahead before anything happens. Too many people out here right now."

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Stores like Target stayed closed until late afternoon, until 5 pm, though some would-be shoppers didn't realize that until they reached the front door.

"Who opens at 5?" said Brenda Appleby, after pulling on the front door for a few seconds at the Emeryville Target. "Everybody going to be eating around 5 and relaxing."

At Best Buy in Emeryville, Bobby Sanchez staked out his place in line super early, thanks to a loaner tent from his nephew. Sanchez pitched it at 2 a.m., a full 15 hours before the store's opening time.

"Had a few people drive up and they just kept going," said Sanchez, but I'm doing my part and I'm staying out here so I can be first in line. If you're not first, you're last."

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For many though, Thanksgiving remains a day to stay away from the stores and the Black Friday hysteria that's looming.

"I've already done all my shopping for Christmas," said Josh Nickels. "Online."

Web shopping is expected to grow again this holiday season, by more than 13%, but the brick and mortar stores remain the dominant path for most people, accounting for 87 percent of total holiday spending.

According to researchers like Deloitte and eMarketer, this year could mark the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season, with a bump in sales as high as 5 percent over last year.

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