The holiday shopping frenzy is underway with many sales starting on Thanksgiving Day instead of Black Friday.
Waikele Premium Outlets opened at 9 a.m. and many spent the holiday taking advantage of special deals.
“It’s just meeting the demands for our shoppers. Customers want to come and shop,” said marketing director Janna Herrington. “We cater to international (customers) as well, some who don’t celebrate the holidays. They have their own traditions. We’re here, open for them so they can come shop and experience the Thanksgiving holiday with us.”
Long lines formed in front of several stores, including Coach, kate spade new york, and Michael Kors.
“I want to be beat the rush. It’s going to be crazy tomorrow,” said shopper Marivic Mendoza. “I’ve been in retail for way too long to know, and I work tomorrow.”
By 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, about 50 customers were already in line at Best Buy in Iwilei.
Freddy Molina was the first. He arrived Wednesday night.
“We’re doing this for (my friend’s) hanai mom and dad. They like the 48-inch TV, so we’re trying to get two of them,” he said. “When this is all over, we’re going back home to their house and we’re going to celebrate with a little dinner for Thanksgiving.”
Kevin Watterson used to go Black Friday shopping in Ohio. He’s been waiting since midnight.
“This is more simple than the mainland,” Watterson said. “Mainland people are 10 times worse.”
Dozens also lined up at Old Navy at Ala Moana Center. The first 50 shoppers in line were entered to win the store’s million-dollar giveaway.
“Everybody wants a million dollars, of course, who doesn’t,” said shopper Robert Salloom, “but it’s mostly so I can help my family more than anything else.”
“We had nothing else to do today so I figured why not try?” said shopper Rose Benigno.
Toys “R” Us opened at 5 p.m.
“We don’t have a lot of family and friends here. My kids are nit-picky about eating, so why am I going to cook if no one’s going to eat it?” said Tasha Bardin, who was first in line.
To avoid a rush, employees only let in 50 shoppers at a time. Many came with a mission.
“There’s a lot of things I’m picking up that’s half off,” said Russell Pascual, who had been waiting since 11 a.m. “There’s a drone there. A majority of my list is kids, that’s why I’m here.”
On Wednesday night, people were also waiting in line for Thanksgiving pies.
At Lee’s Bakery on King Street, a line forms every Thanksgiving eve. People waited anywhere from an hour to two hours to get a pie fresh out of the oven.
Their most popular pie is custard, followed by pumpkin custard, and traditional pumpkin pie.
People KHON2 spoke with said the wait is well worth it.
“My mom introduced us to this. It used to be someplace else, and we would wait for hours and hours, but we finally got into it,” said Vanessa Kahihikilo. “We traditionally do it every year. My mom’s not here now, but we’re going to continue her legacy.”
Kahihikilo told KHON2 she waited in line for two hours, and she bought 15 pies for her family’s Thanksgiving party.