The Olympics for retail, Black Friday on the Suncoast

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013 6:44 pm | Updated: 7:09 pm, Sat Nov 30, 2013.

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's Black Friday on the Suncoast, and at University Town Center, shoppers have been packing out the parking lots since 6pm on Thanksgiving day.

Associates at Old Navy were spreading some holiday cheer by singing Christmas carols and handing out coupons while shoppers wait in line for nearly two hours.

“It was crazy until 2-2:30 in the morning. The line was wrapped around the store all the way back through the women's department,” says Chelsea Havelka, the store manager at Old Navy at University Town Center.

Old Navy, like other stores throughout the Suncoast, opened their doors as early as 7pm on Thanksgiving.

“We waited in line for 2 hours up in Venice, at Target, and when we walked in the door they said, 'we got 24 TVs,' the ones that were on sale,” says Rusty Scalaire, a shopper who waited on Thanksgiving day.

Rusty says it was a mad house and all the TV’s were taken by the time he got inside, but others had better luck after waiting hours in line at Best Buy.  “We went to Best Buy, bought a TV and a PlayStation, no an Xbox 360,” says Juan Muratti, a Black Friday shopper.

Black Friday shoppers like, Juan Muratti and his son Juan Jr., couldn't stay away from the deals.  “We're back for Round 2. We're going to start on one end and work our way all the way down,” says Muratti.

Others enjoyed their Thanksgiving at home relaxing, and came out on Black Friday just to watch the madness and start their holiday shopping.

“I think some of the deals are worth it. I don't agree with the stores opening on Thanksgiving. I think that's family time,” says Amy Denney, a Black Friday shopper.

Bailey Hamel and her mom shop on Black Friday ever year and took advantage of the 50% off everything deals at Old Navy, but are among the many who think Black Friday should stay on Friday, especially for the sales associates.

“I feel bad. I don't want them to have to work on Thanksgiving. I want them to be able to spend time with their families."

The most dedicated Black Friday shoppers say, in the end, it is well worth it.

Although, there are still mixed feelings on when Black Friday should actually start, if the deals are there, the shoppers will come.

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