Black Friday Hysteria Has Already Started

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Black Friday has already begun for some shoppers.

    The lines have already started outside some Best Buy stores. Others will soon join them.

    Before the sun comes up on Friday, many Bay Area stores will open  their doors to welcome hordes of anticipated shoppers for the official start  of the holiday shopping season, known in the retail world as Black Friday.

    Macy's department stores nationwide will be opening at 5 a.m. At  the Union Square location in San Francisco, it's not uncommon to see shoppers  waiting outside for the doors to open, said spokeswoman Laura Gardner Smith.

    The store has extra staff in place to assist customers and keep  lines moving, she said. Macys began circulating its array of sales and  discounted prices in advance online and in a special circular.

    The number of people braving the stores in the Friday, Saturday  and Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be up from last year, according  to a poll released today by the National Retail Federation.
    The industry  group expects up to 134 million people to shop nationwide, compared with 128  million last year. According to the survey, about two-thirds of respondents  planned to visit department, discount chain and big-box stores.

    An estimated one in 10 shoppers will roll out of bed for sales  between midnight and 3 a.m., according the survey. Another 29 percent will  head out seeking early bird specials between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

    On the day after Thanksgiving, all Toys R Us stores will open at  midnight, five hours earlier than last year's Black Friday. A manager at the  store's Hayward location said that employees are expecting the store to be  busy, but customers in Black Fridays past have been well-behaved and  friendly.