Hundreds line up at Valley stores hoping for bargains

FRESNO, Calif.

Retailers across the nation are hoping that sales on Black Friday start a positive trend for the rest of the holidays.

At 11 p.m. Thursday night, a few employees were in Best Buy making sure everything was in place for the mad dash about an hour later.

In the meantime, dozens of other workers were coming in to for their overnight shifts and hundreds of people lined up outside - some since Tuesday.

But over in Clovis, Black Friday sales started earlier.

More than a thousand Toys R Us shoppers are already picking up this seasons hottest toys at a big discount. One store in Clovis opened its doors at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

Lisa Hongthamaly was first in line.

She and her family were strategically split up at different big box stores in Clovis.

Down the street at Target, Shawna Brunit was hoping to score on a new high-def TV.

"I gave away a TV to buy a new one, and I'm getting a smaller one than I gave away," she said.

Crowd and traffic control got underway early at River Park in North Fresno.

At the Old Navy store, which was opened most of the day, employees prepped displays that would no doubt be torn apart soon.

Alfred Ortega was outside, in line at Best Buy since 3 p.m.

"I just decided at the last minute, I'm not doing much I'm just going to come out here and get something," he said.

Everyone either in the stores, on in the lines, is willing to spend money this Black Friday.

While retailers say more people will be shopping this weekend, our exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA says nearly half of those surveyed will spend less on holiday gifts this year.

Dr William Rice, an economist from Fresno State, says Black Friday came early and better this year because retailers need the consumer cash.

"They're very scared. They know there's less dollars out there. They know that people are more conservative than they've ever been, so they've gotta get their portion and get it now," he said.

For their part, shoppers hope the days of waiting and the fight through the crowds will pay off.

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