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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

METAIRIE, La. -- For many businesses, sales on Black Friday can make or break their year. With so much at stake, some stores are getting a head start by staying open on Thanksgiving Day.

'You get the best stuff. The early bird gets the worm,' said Toys 'R' Us customer Dinetrea Louis-Conerly

One by one Thankgiving shoppers made their way inside Toys 'R' Us looking for a deal.

This is the fifth year in a row Louis-Conerly has braved the cool weather to get a bargain -- or several bargains.

'A Nintendo DS, a LeapFrog,' she said. 'I have about 20 items but those are the top two for the kids.'

She and more than 100 others had to wait in a line wrapped around the building. Turkey Day shopping is predicted to bring in $1 billion nationwide this year.

The doors at Toys 'R' Us opened at 5 p.m., hours ahead of the Lakeside Mall.

'We try to open first and set the pace for Christmas. Toy stores should do that,' said Toys 'R' Us manager Bill McGee.

'I got here for 4 (p.m.),' said customer John Thiele. 'After this, Macy's, then Target, then Walmart.'

'You have a four-hour block and you have to catch the deals before they end,' said shopper Joseph Fletcher. 'You have to save as much money as you can. Times are tough and you have to do what you have to do.'

Even if that means waiting in the cold for hours.

The first person in line arrived shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, four hours ahead of schedule.

'It's for the kids,' Thiele said. 'It's like a scavenger hunt. You get the most for your money.'

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