UPDATE 2-Stores open early on Thanksgiving but shoppers in no rush
By Marina Lopes and Dhanya Skariachan
Nov 29 (Reuters) - Jill McCormack didn't mind waiting in the cold for five hours on Thursday. She was frozen, but first in line when the Macy's Inc flagship store in New York opened for the first time ever on Thanksgiving Day.
At 8 p.m., the 30-year-old teacher from Ireland raced into the store, arms linked with her sister-in-law, as shoppers cheered and employees stared.
"Anything that's on sale that we can fit in our suitcases we're going to buy," said McCormack, who came to New York with empty luggage to fill with new purchases. "The rest of the family is out to dinner. They think we're mad," she said.
While most in the United States spent the day bonding with friends and family over turkey dinners and football games, some were enticed by big discounts and open stores to begin their holiday bargain-hunting a day earlier than the traditional "Black Friday" sprees that follow Thanksgiving.
With six fewer shopping days this year than in 2012, Macy's and a slew of other stores opened on Thanksgiving for the first time in a bare-knuckle brawl for a bigger slice of holiday sales.
Macy's was packed, and overall online sales for the day were up an estimated 11.5 percent over last year, according to a report at IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.
But many shoppers interviewed by Reuters were being careful and buying only one or two items. Continued...