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Bay Area Shoppers Camp Out, Forgo Turkey For Thanksgiving Deals

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Shoppers camp outside the Best Buy store in Pleasant Hill on November 27, 2013, in anticipation of deals on Thanksgiving Day. (CBS)

Shoppers camp outside the Best Buy store in Pleasant Hill on November 27, 2013, in anticipation of deals on Thanksgiving Day. (CBS)

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Holiday Shopping & Events
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Jabbing elbows are not all to watch out for on Black Friday, which has become something of a competitive sport for some of the best deals in the Bay Area the day after Thanksgiving.

Traditionally Black Friday began with “doorbuster” sales early the morning following Thanksgiving, however more stores are offering the deals on Turkey Day itself.

Some stores such as KMart, with locations in San Mateo, Concord, Petaluma, Antioch, San Leandro and elsewhere, are opening before the turkey is even out of the oven and staying open for nearly two straight days.

Dubbed “Black Friday” or “Gray Thursday,” KMart stores in the Bay Area are opening at 6 a.m.

Best Buy is opening at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, along with Walmart stores. Target will be opening at 8 p.m., adding extra hours until Black Friday arrives.

In Pinole, a handful of tents have been erected in front of the Best Buy at 1490 Fitzgerald Road since last week, a store employee said Tuesday.

The employee said the line for “Black Friday” deals usually starts forming the Monday before Thanksgiving.

At the Pinole Target down the street, eager shoppers in camping chairs have set up camp for the past week, a store employee said Tuesday afternoon.

About half a dozen customers have been waiting outside the store for the Thanksgiving Deals since last Wednesday, she said.

Target policy does not allow customers to erect tents, she said.

At the Best Buy at 181 Curtner Ave. in San Jose, at least one tent has popped up in front in anticipation of a holiday shopping spree, a store employee at the Plant Shopping Center said.

At the Southland Mall in Hayward, many stores, including Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears and Ross, are opening at 8 p.m., four hours before the mall officially opens at midnight.

BART is offering passengers an alternative to the crowded roadways on Black Friday.

There will be longer trains operating throughout the system on Friday starting at 6 a.m. to accommodate more seats for shoppers.

On Wednesday, BART officials announced scheduled track maintenance on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line on Saturday has been canceled, “in anticipation of busy holiday shopping weekend.”

BART police and Oakland police will offer safety escorts for passengers who park at the West Oakland station.

Officers in the area will also be passing out travel safety tips on Black Friday.

Livermore police are advising shoppers heading to the Livermore Premium Outlets, located at 2774 Paragon Outlets Drive off of Interstate Highway 580, to be aware of heavy traffic on the roadways leading to and from the shopping center.

Police expect traffic delays to begin when the sales start at 6 p.m. on Thursday and to continue through the end of the weekend.

Livermore police are reminding shoppers to not leave valuables in cars while bargain hunting.

Police in Alameda are also advising shoppers to park in well-lit areas and put packages and shopping bags in the trunk.

Safety officials are also reminding customers to stay alert and avoid carrying valuable items and cash while out shopping, and for wallets and purses to be kept close and in front or inside pockets.

A protest at the San Leandro Walmart is coinciding with Black Friday shopping, starting at 3 p.m.

A group of Walmart workers, labor activists, other low-wage employees and supporters are gathering at the store located at 15555 Hesperian Blvd. to shed light on low worker wages and workers’ rights violations as part of a nationwide protest.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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