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Earlier Opening Times Cutting Down On Black Friday Frenzy

Shoppers pack Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for Black Friday shopping on Nov. 25, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Shoppers pack Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for Black Friday shopping on Nov. 25, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The shoppers have been out for hours already grabbing every deal they can as Black Friday gets underway.

Most of the stores are open on this Black Friday morning, and many of the big door-buster buys are already gone.

But as WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports, the concentrated madness that used to accompany this day has been greatly diffused.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports

With stores opening earlier and earlier on the day after Thanksgiving, the excitement of sunrise bargain hunting is far from what it used to be.

In years past, the Best Buy in Bolingbrook would be a sea of shoppers around 6 a.m. on Black Friday, but this year it looked more like a typical Saturday afternoon in October.

The reason is pretty clear – Black Friday has been stretched out, you might say, with fewer stores focusing on 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. openings.

But more and more stores are now opening at midnight and, this year, many stores even began opening as early as 9 p.m. Thursday to begin their Black Friday sales.

“You know, historically it’s always been this morning,” one shopper said. “You know, you start at 6 o’clock the day before – 7 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 9 o’clock – you know, it’s gonna be Black Friday week. But maybe it should be.”

Not everyone out shopping early on Friday was looking for big deals on Christmas gifts or other holiday shopping.

Two men and a boy walked out of the massive Outdoor World store in Bolingbrook early Friday, having already wrapped up a quick day of shopping.

“First time ever I went out for Black Friday. Probably will be the last,” one of the men said.

They made it a quick day of shopping on Black Friday because they had bigger fish to fry.

“We just had to get some line and a license to go fishing this afternoon,” he said. “We’re going fishing.”

They did manage to get a little bit of holiday shopping in, as the boy bought a stuffed fish as a gift.

“A giant fish. It’s for my 3-year-old brother,” he said.

Even though the frenzy of the early-morning Black Friday shopping was somewhat subdued because of the varied opening times for different stores, shoppers were still finding plenty of stuff to buy that they were happy about.

One shopper said the changes in opening times have made it easier to shop on Black Friday by thinning out the crowds a bit.