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Posted: Friday, 29 November 2013 7:21AM

Americans kicked off a holiday shopping marathon

Holiday shopping this year is a marathon, not a sprint.

More than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving Day and planned to stay open through Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. As a result, crowds formed early and often throughout the two days.

This year, the season is transforming right before shoppers' eyes. For nearly a decade, Black Friday had been the official start to the busy buying binge between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. Some like Macy's and J.C. Penney opened on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Others opened earlier on Thanksgiving than last year. And many pushed up the discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday.

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