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Shoppers mixed on Thursday store openings

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TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

The holiday shopping season began quietly at Tempe Marketplace. The long lines shoppers were used to seeing and the packed parking lots were both nearly empty before sunset.

Beverly Stanley says the tradition of catching the big deals is getting dangerously close to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

"It's getting earlier and earlier," Stanley said. "It's not as fun."

Stanley and some other shoppers enjoyed the overnight experience of shopping on Black Friday and camping out overnight.

That's all changed this year.

Many stores opened their doors at 8 p.m. while others opened even earlier.

"We could be at home finishing up Thanksgiving dinner, but instead we're here in line," Stanley said.

Other shoppers embraced the change.

"Pizza is one of those things that delivers," Basel Abukhalaf said.

Abukhalaf chose to dial Domino's Pizza over a turkey with a side of stuffing. He staked his spot in line at Target six hours before the store opened its doors Thursday evening.

"I think a lot of people wouldn't be here if they didn't move the times up," he said.

While there were few camped outside the stores, the shoppers still came out, and as the time moved closer to opening, more and more filled the line.

Tim Henaughan says there was less waiting and more shopping.

"It was worth the wait," Henaughan said. "The time flew with all the people in line and when you're saving $200 on TV, it's worth it."

Shoppers like Stanley who have made Black Friday a family tradition say the entire event has changed, but in the end, it's still a fun tradition.

"We're still here," Stanley said. "It's just a little different now."

Despite many stores opening on Thursday, Friday is still expected to be the largest shopping day of the year, with stores raking in nearly $12 billion in sales.

For more on this story and other stories, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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