Chilly temperatures did not stop determined shoppers in the area from waiting outside their favorite stores Thursday night to ensure that they could claim their must-have items.
With some retailers opening as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, savvy shoppers were able to get a jump start on their holiday purchases.
A number of merchants in the Lake Elsinore Outlet Center opened their doors to thousands of shoppers at 10 p.m. Thursday, according to Lake Elsinore Outlet Center marketing director Christine Frantz.
“It makes me feel good to see all of these people come together to support our community and shop,” Frantz said late Thursday night. “This is a friendly and family environment.”
Thomas Reiher, 37, who is visiting from Kihei, Hawaii, found some deals he and his family could not pass up.
“Well, my wife heard that there were tickets being given away, plus we have teenagers and we don’t have a Nike Outlet in Hawaii,” Reiher said while holding the couple's 3-year-old son.
Nearly 400 shoppers, many wrapped in blankets, waited in line outside Kohl’s in Murrieta. One patron even brought a portable propane heater to stay warm.
Kaysie Frost, 16, of Wildomar, waited nearly five hours to get some pajamas and a sweater, with her mom and brother at her side. With three coupons in hand and deep discounted prices, Kaysie saved nearly $100 and spent less than $25 she earned from babysitting.
Murrieta resident Robbert Niell sat outside Kmart in Temecula for more than seven hours to save hundreds of dollars.
“I want to score a TV,” Niell said. “(It’s) a 52-inch TV for $399.”