Black Friday Creeps Into Thursday

LAS VEGAS  -- Put down that turkey leg. It's time to shop. No, really.

Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday, named for the period when stores traditionally turn a profit for the year. But Black Friday openings have crept earlier over the past few years.

Now, stores are opening their doors Thanksgiving evening, hoping Americans will be willing to shop soon after they finish their pumpkin pie.

In Las Vegas, eager shoppers pitched tents outside a Best Buy store in anticipation of the store's Black Friday opening at midnight.

Shortly after nightfall, an estimated 300 people were already lined up outside a Toys R Us store in Henderson, Nev.  

Black Friday shoppers are looking at perfect weather for dashing from store to store with temperatures in the low 70s.

Holiday Hours at Las Vegas Malls and Outlets

The Thursday night opening is an effort by stores to make shopping more convenient for Americans. Many shoppers are worried about high unemployment and a package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" that will take effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. Americans also are shopping online more.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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