Shoppers got an early start on Black Friday. - Nov 23rd, 2012 - National

Black Friday has gotten its earliest start ever this year — on Thursday. Shoppers started heading to the malls shortly after Thanksgiving dinner, with some national retailers opening at 8 p.m. Others, like Old Navy and Macy's, opened at midnight. At Macy's flagship Herald Square store in New York, some 11,000 customers waited in line for the store to open its doors.
Retailers are hoping that earlier openings, including pushing Black Friday into Thursday in some cases, will help boost holiday sales. It is unclear how many shoppers took advantage it, but about 17 percent of shoppers said earlier this month that they planned to shop at stores that opened on Thanksgiving.