AURORA, Ohio - "Shop 'til you drop," shouted a group of women Thanksgiving night. That was the motto as shoppers created new game plans for how they would approach certain stores and certain deals since several retailers decided to open up shop this year even earlier than at the traditional stroke of midnight.
The unofficial term, "Gray Thursday" was thrown around by a few shoppers for stores begging their Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day.
At the Aurora Farms Premium Outlets, employees were bussed in for a 9 p.m. start time Thursday with many of those stores remaining open until around 10 a.m. Friday.
When we asked two women why they still come out to shop, they told NewsChannel5, "I don't know … [we] get some good deals," said Tara Begg. Her mother agreed, "Yeah, it's something fun to do."
"I mean it's cool because me and my little brother caught the sales last year," said Jovaun Woodfolk standing with his younger brother and this year, a friend.
Shoppers described it all as more of a bonding event that came with a game plan.
"My two girls, my two daughters. They know all the places to go. They have a whole list of what they are going to do at Target," said Pat Sowecke.
Sowecke told NewsChannel5 she flew all the way in from Arizona not only for Thanksgiving, but also to be a part of her children's Black Friday shopping.
But early hours allowed for something different this year. When we asked Sowecke's daughter what she was shopping for at the Old Navy close to around 8 p.m. Thursday, she answered, "I'm on a recon mission ... I got to find where everything's laid out so that we know when the doors open [again at midnight] right where to go to get what we need.
Sowecke said the deals Thursday were nice but the actual Black Friday deals, she said, were still better.