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Black Friday shoppers get early start

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By Michael Mroziak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-936954.mp3

Buffalo, N Y – Shopping centers were crowded as stores opened during the pre-dawn hours on the day retailers call "Black Friday." Recognized as the official start of the holiday shopping season, it got its name from the rush of shoppers in search of the best deals of the season. That frenzy of spending is said by the accountants to put stores in the black for the year.

Eager shoppers braved cold wind chills and light rain, waiting for their favorite stores to open. Local Target outlets opened at 4am. As the doors opened at the Delaware Avenue store in North Buffalo, some shoppers fell and were trampled in the rush that followed. One man was reportedly treated and released for minor injuries at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

The Bon-Ton threw open its doors at 3am. The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls opened at midnight. And some retailers, including Wal-Mart and Sears, opened on Thanksgiving to give shoppers a head start on their holiday gift buying.

Shoppers say the potential of saving hundreds of dollars on Black Friday is worth getting up early and waiting in the the cold rain.

WBFO's Michael Mroziak reports some merchants he talked with at the Boulevard Mall are cautiously optimistic about this year's holiday shopping season.