Many San Antonio shoppers went straight from the dinner table to the stores Thursday night to get a jump on Black Friday holiday deals.
About 50 early birds lined up at the Academy Sports & Outdoors store at Loop 410 and Vance Jackson Friday for what is now considered a "late open" at 5 a.m.
Academy was one of the few retailers that opened on Friday and not Thanksgiving Day. More than a dozen retailers from Walmart to Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving and some stayed open overnight. A few San Antonio shoppers said earlier open times meant getting to several stores instead of just staying at one and less overcrowding.
"Walmart and Target are our last stops, so. (And then are you gonna go home and crash?) No! We're still gonna keep going. We're gonna go back to the mall. We have family waiting for us there," said Yesenia Hernandez. "We just wanted to come right now, because it's kind of calm and relaxed. We'll still find something good," said Julian Fierro.
Black Friday has become a marathon shopping event and by early Friday, many San Antonio shoppers were fueled by dreams of deals and energy drinks. "Thank God for Red Bull and Starbucks," said Hernandez.
Toy and electronics have proven to be the most popular items. Analysts say Thanksgiving shopping is becoming so popular that it's starting to take a bite out of Black Friday sales.
Many of the big bargain hunters have become fans of the rolling store opens. "It makes it a little bit better for us. We can get the deals at different places," said Rene Escobedo.
Some said they wouldn't shop for anything until after spending quality time with loved ones. "We spend the whole day eating and spending time with family, and we decided to come out here and to do a little bit of shopping," said Fierro.