Shoppers up early to grab good deals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shoppers up early to grab good deals

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

Brian Motzko is making his usual trip to the Mall of America in Minnesota early Friday while visiting relatives for Thanksgiving.

The Cedar Falls man says he's doing all his Christmas shopping on Black Friday, buying gifts for himself, his wife and family "until my card blows up." He says, "I've got two teenage girls. It's whatever."

Motzko says he scored 70 percent off cookware at Williams-Sonoma and was on the hunt for a Bluetooth speaker. He said the nation's largest shopping center seemed less packed than in years past.

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which started its Black Friday sales in stores on Thursday at 6 p.m., says shoppers were embracing different types of tech products.

Steve Bratspies, who is chief merchandising officer at Wal-Mart's U.S. division, says in addition to picking up Black Friday favorites like televisions and toys, shoppers were looking for drones, virtual reality products and hoverboards.

The company started its online sale at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and noted that more than 70 percent of traffic to Walmart.com during the Thursday event came from mobile devices.

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Stores open their doors Friday for what is still one of the busiest days of the year, even as the start of the holiday season edges ever earlier.

Many stores are offering the same deals as in previous years, like $19.99 boots that remain a big attraction, cashmere sweaters, and sheets. For some shoppers, big discounts on electronics are the draw.

Stores like Macy's, Walmart, Target and more were open Thursday evening in what they hope will be a new holiday tradition. Several shoppers were out looking for bargains on TVs. Other items that drew crowds were cellphones and Hatchimals - eggs with a small, animated animal inside that hatch when given attention.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, vies with the Saturday before Christmas as the biggest sales day.

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