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Hundreds Wait for Hours in Rain, Cold for Black Friday Deals

The Black Friday weather may make you want to stay inside.

But it's not discouraging to those hunting deals.

People started to wait in line at Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony as early as 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, practically right after the turkey dinner.

By 5 a.m. Friday morning, hundreds were lined up outside the store.

The rain, drizzle and temperatures in the 40s made it a miserable wait, with people bringing tents, ponchos, tarps, chairs, blankets, hot chocolate and other means of to stay warm and dry.

"I have two scarfs, a jacket a coat, I'm always cold," Chantelle Williams said.

She waited in line with her husband and friend to grab a deal on AirPods and a Dyson vacuum. The first 20 or so customers in line would save hundreds of dollars on each item, so her group decided to line up around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, despite the bad weather.

"It's horrible. We've been managing shifts, I let her go to the car, let her come out we flip back and forth. It's been raining. Wearing ponchos, umbrellas, anything just to keep our feet warm," Jamaal Williams said.

"This sale? Man, I wasn't even thinking about coming, but when I saw it, I was like, 'I'm definitely coming for sure,'" Rodrigo Albarran said.

Tiffany Henson and her daughters waited in line for about eight hours and were among the first in the line. She said it's worth it to save hundreds of dollars and make memories of an age old retail tradition.

"We started just with some chairs and some umbrellas, and then my lovely husband went out and got us this tarp because it started raining and we were freezing!" she said.

Her family ended up making friends with another family in line. By 5 a.m., they had about eight people huddled together under one giant make-shift tent made out of a tarp.

"We have been playing dice, we've been freezing, drinking hot chocolate and laughing a whole lot," Henson said.

As is the trend with many stores, the retail giant was closed on Thursday to allow employees to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

But they offered "Black Wednesday" deals earlier in the week, with people were waiting in line for that.

On Friday morning, the store estimated around 2,000 to 3,000 customers in the first hours.

Nebraska Furniture Mart store manager Ed Lipsett talked to NBC 5 about the changing trends in Black Friday mania.

"What we've continued to see is shoppers shop throughout the entire day, instead of a crazy mad rush just in the morning and I know other retailers have told me the same," he said. "Now, people take their time, they go out and have a whole day experience which is great for everybody because it's safer, it's more fun."

To keep up with all of the customers during the busy shopping weekend, the store has over 500 cameras set up to monitor everyone.

They're expecting well more than 20,000 customers to come through their doors on Saturday alone.

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