Strong opening to Black Friday as thousands leave their Thanksgiving dinner to feast on sales

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For as long as Thanksgiving is synonymous with shopping, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, you will find the Vangs outside camping.

"I categorize by name so yeah, this year I have 17, last year was 16," said Lucida Vang.

For the sixth year, Vang and her family have chosen to spend Thanksgiving feasting on deals at the Clovis Toys "R" Us.

"That's what we are doing here, connect with each other, girl's night out, shopping, that's what we do best right?" said Vang.

The women spent the hour before in line, planning how to divide and conquer. When it came to execution this year there were some complications arose.

"I have to be honest, the deals really aren't as significant as they were last year," said Vang.

The Vangs like many others have shifted their focus to online shopping. Even before stores opened Thursday, U.S. shoppers splurged more than $1.52 billion online. Retail analyst say foot traffic at actual stores is also making a comeback.

Analysts say a strong labor market and stock market are driving shoppers to malls.

"I'm going to be back again because there's going to be certain things online that won't be here and vice versa," said Vang.

Deals or no deals for this family, some traditions can never be replaced by money.
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