Hundreds of shoppers lined up for deals at the Kettering Meijer Thursday. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY

Shoppers find deals at Meijer early Thanksgiving morning

Thousands of Miami Valley shoppers lined up inside Meijer stores early this morning to take advantage of the earliest in-store deals.

By 5:30 a.m. aisles at the Kettering Meijer were full of 300 to 400 shoppers searching for deals on 55-inch Roku 4K televisions, Apple watches, iPads, Xbox One consoles, shoes and more.

First in line for an Apple Watch, Andy Ayres of Kettering said he’d been waiting in line since 4:11 a.m.

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“We knew we were going to get two for two kids and we knew we would get $200 back in groceries. So we basically knew we we’d save $200,” Ayres said.

Meijer’s 6 a.m. sales kicked off the Thanksgiving shopping holiday, with JCPenney planning to open at 2 p.m. and other major retailers like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy and Target opening at 5 p.m. Walmart will be open all day but starts Black Friday deals at 6 p.m., along with Dick’s Sporting Goods.

This is the second time Ayres has gone to Meijer for its 6 a.m. sale.

“I do not enjoy this, but to save $200 this was worth it,” he said.

» Store hours: Here’s when retailers will open for Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales

Miamisburg resident Kanysha Smith, on the other hand, enjoys the holiday rush. She woke up 3:15 a.m., jumping in line behind 24 other hopefuls waiting for the 55-inch Roku television at Meijer. Managers said some campers were in line with sleeping bags as early as 1 a.m.

“I won’t stand outside because I’m always cold and I don’t really like being that cold,” she said, “I do kind of like the rush of everything. When everybody’s doing their holiday shopping, they don’t like being in the hustle and bustle, but we’ve done it for probably over 10 years now, and so I like that part because usually people are pretty nice and everybody’s out trying to get a deal.”

She said she’ll keep shopping in-stores and online both, even if consumer shopping habits continue to shift online, especially when it comes to major deals like her TV.

“I’ve done online before, not with Meijer but with another store, and what happened is I ordered online and when I got to the store to pick it up they were out of them,” Smith said.

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Camping out at Best Buy near Dayton Mall

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