By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The discounts are steep and the stores are busy as Maryland’s Black Friday begins a day early.

Before the Thanksgiving table is even clear, the Christmas shopping is on. The promise of a bargain is enticing enough to draw even the most turkey-tired Marylanders out of their homes and into the cold.

In Baltimore County, doorbuster deals started a day early when Old Navy opened its doors Thursday afternoon with Best Buy and Target planned to follow suit later that evening.

The Best Buy in Lutherville wasn’t even open yet when a line started forming outside its doors, some of those waiting said they had been there since 5 a.m.

When it did open, shoppers didn’t waste a second to score doorbuster deals a day early.

“Well it’s actually my first time, so definitely getting the experience,” said Keron Cruz, a Black Friday shopper.

Cruz said he’s trading in turkey around a toasty table for bargains he said you can’t find anywhere else.

[WJZ Reporter: “Is it worth it?”] “I believe so. The experience in it of itself, the actual deals themselves, in-store, you know, I think they are, it is,” Cruz said.

The kickoff to the season of sales is also in full swing at Old Navy, Target and Wal-Mart too.

“We’ve been going through the process training our associates, Wal-Mart is definitely ready for Black Friday,” a Wal-Mart employee said.

Officially marking the season of sales, major brick and mortar retailers like Walmart started preparing to slash price tags and stock shelves, proving that despite the increase in online shopping, the click of a mouse can’t quite wipe out the in-person experience.

“They’ve been talking about the death of Black Friday for about ten years,” said one JC Penny worker. “Most sales still happen in-store.”

For some retailers, like JC Penny, it’s make or break time.

“Holiday for all retailers is a pretty crucial time of the year because it’s our biggest time of the year,” said Joe Cardamone, JC Penny general manager.

Retail experts say they aren’t alone.

“I think Sears is high on the list,” said Jill Schlesinger, CBS News Business Analyst.

This year, brick and mortar stores are still expected to do well earning 5 to 5.6 over a year ago.

The average household is also expected to spend more than $1,500 at stores.

These stores are open until late Thanksgiving evening with most re-opening early Friday morning to give you plenty of extra time to get your shopping done.

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Kimberly Eiten

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