"Black Thursday" arrived in east Greeneville on Thanksgiving.
Most Greeneville retailers, grocery stores and restaurants were closed and dark on Thanksgiving day and evening, but the parking lots at Greeneville Commons, Walmart and Staples/Big Lots made it clear on Thursday and Thursday night that many local shoppers were willing and ready to hit the stores before "Black Friday."
Attracted by dramatic door-buster bargains, local shoppers turned out in large numbers Thursday and Thursday night at several large stores which opened their doors on Thanksgiving.
First to open was Kmart, which welcomed shoppers beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Walmart, which is open 24 hours a day, offered special bargain prices beginning at 6 p.m., and Belk, JCPenney, and Staples were among stores opening at 8 p.m. with many advertised discounts and "door-buster" items.
Big Lots opened from 7-11 p.m.
Lots of shoppers responded to the advertised bargains and Thanksgiving shopping opportunities.
By 7:45 p.m. Thursday, with the temperature at about 30 degrees, a line of bundled-up shoppers stretched from the front door of Belk to Tusculum Boulevard. Within a few minutes after 8 p.m., everyone in line had entered the store.
Shoppers were shopping at JCPenney by shortly before 8 p.m., and there were many cars, and shoppers, across the U.S. 11E Bypass at Staples and Big Lots.
At Walmart, meanwhile, by around 8 p.m. it was possible -- but very difficult -- to find a parking space in the sprawling lot in front and to the sides of the store.
Early this morning, a fresh phase of shopping kicked off, including openings at many retail stores which had not opened on Thursday.
Around 8 a.m., the parking lots at Greeneville Commons, Staples and Walmart were far less packed than had been the case 12 hours before -- but Black Friday was just getting started.
Details concerning how shopping went at a selection of local stores on Thursday and Friday will be published in Saturday's issue of The Greeneville Sun.