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Last updated: February 19. 2013 6:43PM - 632 Views

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WILKES-BARRE TWP. -- As a line of hundreds waited outside in the cold, employees inside the Best Buy swigged from their aluminum cans of energy drinks and prepared for the long shift ahead.
Black Friday had arrived. Or at least the Friday part of it did since some other retailers decided to move Black Friday up into Thursday this year.
Chuck Sullick, the store's general manager, said the midnight opening gives shoppers a chance to get their deals at a semi decent hour while still allowing employees to spend Thanksgiving with their families.
But some of those who waited in the long line did not have that chance, but it was their choice and for the ones who got what they came for, it was a tradeoff well worth it.
Chris Jaworski, of Forty Fort; Don Engel, of Larksville; Shane Britt, of Swoyersville; and Geo Santee, of Swoyersville, were the first in line at Best Buy, showing up Wednesday afternoon to camp out and ensure they got big ticket electronics at a discount.
Others also lined up, knowing the items of limited quantities would be gone but hoping to get good deals on blu-rays, phones and tablets.
Across the region, and throughout the nation, retailers rolled out big sales to entice customers to come through their doors. And that meant more and more stores opening on Thursday rather than Black Friday.
In the highly competitive retail sector, sales during Black Friday can make or break a company.
Cathy Moraca, the manager at Macy‚??s at the Wyoming Valley Mall, said it's a sign of the times.
‚??You have to be competitive. It‚??s the environment we‚??re in. It‚??s the retail world. Look at the traffic it brings,‚?Ě she added, noting the first hour of sales Friday morning -- the store opened at midnight -- beat last year‚??s first hour of sales. And last year's Black Friday sales event exceeded company expectations at the Wilkes-Barre store.
 
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