The holiday shopping season started as a marathon, not a sprint.
More than a dozen major U.S. retailers stayed open for 24 hours or more on Thanksgiving Day through Black Friday, and crowds formed early and often over the two days.
About 15,000 people waited for the flagship Macy’s in New York to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Long checkout lines formed at the Target in Colma, Calif., on Friday morning. And by the time Jessica Astalos was leaving North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Ga., after a six-hour buying binge that started on Thanksgiving, another wave of shoppers was coming in about 5:30 a.m. on Friday.