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Desert shoppers search for Black Friday bargains

By Samantha Cortese, News Reporter, samantha.cortese@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Nov 23 2012 12:37:58 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 23 2012 02:22:35 PM CST

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VALLEY SHOPPERS GOING TO STORES ACROSS THE DESERT LOOKING FOR THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY BARGAINS. SAMANTHA CORTESE WITH PHOTOJOURNALIST CHRIS TARPENING REPORTS -- MANY LOST SLEEP -- AND TIME WITH FAMILY -- ALL FOR A GOOD DEAL.

PALM DESERT, Calif. - -

The crowds. The sales. The tryptophan comas. The makings of Black Friday mayhem.

"It was pretty hectic seeing everyone push out of the way to get what they want," said shopper Keith Villalobos. "It's really interesting to see."

Retailers are trying to get an edge on the 52 billion dollars up for grabs this year. WalMart, Target, and Sears opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, while Macy's opened at midnight.

More than 20,000 people walked through the Westfield Shopping Center in Palm Desert in less than 12 hours after Sears' opening at 8 p.m.

One shopper waited in line one hour for a video game, another 30 minutes for a couple sweaters.

"The lines are part of the experience! If you want that pair of boots, that line is totally worth a $20 pair of Michael Kors boots!" said Franchesca Forrer, Marketing Director of Westfield Shopping Center.

Forrer was tracking sales all morning, saying stores were meeting or going above their expected sales. Possibly a sign that locally, Black Friday is recession proof.

More than one in three Americans will go shopping on Black Friday, according to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association.

"People are feeling really confident," Forrer said. "I think it's because we're offering such incredible deals that they know they can stretch their dollars that much further."

Follow Samantha on Twitter: @SamanthaCortese