Shoppers hit stores early Thanksgiving morning

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SAN DIEGO - Remember the old days, when families gathered around tables to share a Thanksgiving meal?

Today many families have a new tradition: shopping early before they eat.

Some San Diego County residents waited outside Kmart in Spring Valley as early as 2 p.m. Wednesday to be among the first through the doors when they opened at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Opening early is a strategy Kmart chose to compete with other big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, both open Thanksgiving evening.

In 2013, brick and mortar retail sales totaled $12.3 billion, while the average consumer spent $135.37 online between Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Retailers are counting on shoppers to hit the stores this year as well.

Among those opening Thanksgiving in addition to Kmart, Target and Wal-Mart are Macy’s, Toys R Us, Radio Shack and Best Buy.