Shoppers start early on Thanksgiving Day for deals at Sears

Sears in Santa Monica

Brian Watt/KPCC

About 20 people were waiting at the doors of the Santa Monica Sears when they opened at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

The traditional holiday shopping season begins Friday, but Sears is one of a handful of retailers to jump the gun by opening for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day. Customers showed up before the Santa Monica location opened its doors.

At a little before 7 in the morning, the brothers Delgado – 18-year-old Elmer and 12-year-old Benjamin had driven from Lennox. They were still waking up and shivering in the cold. But their mission was clear... kinda.

"To save money... and get a PS3," said Elmer. Elmer didn't know how much they would save by coming to Sears. Benjamin explained, "You get a free game, a free movie, free downloads." Benjamin said he was having to school his 18-year-old brother on how this works.

In its 124 year history, the Chicago-based Sears had never opened on Thanksgiving Day, until this year. Bill Kim of West L.A. wasn’t gonna miss it. "I wanted to see how many people were gonna get up on Thanksgiving morning and come out."

Of course, he had something to buy, too. "A drill. A cordless drill. Because they’re doing it cheaper today. And they’re giving it with some other stuff." Kim said he also felt like he was playing a role in the economy, "helping out, also with the city, sales tax."

Stephanie Boone of South Los Angeles showed up early to the Sears in Santa Monica as well. "I like to save money."

Boone hadn't been waiting long. "I just came up. I have thre grandchildren and a half of one – her grandson. So I'm here to get winter coats for little boys." Boone said she knew they'd be a lot cheaper on Thanksgiving.

Sears opened from 7 until noon. Toys "R" Us, K-Mart and Wal-Mart are among the other retailers to open on Thanksgiving Day.

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