TOY DRIVE: Help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver this holiday season! (Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive)

By Melissa Garcia

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Denver area shoppers showed up at stores on Thanksgiving Day for early Black Friday deals.

With the nation’s jobless rate at a 17-year low, analysts predict healthy sales increases for retailers.

A line of anxious customers wrapped around Best Buy on Colorado Boulevard near Interstate 25 Thursday as they waited for doors to open.

One of the first customers in line said he had been waiting since 7 a.m.

Management said the 50-inch Sharp TV was one of the fastest selling doorbusters.

The big box electronics store was not the only major merchant with customers willing to wait.

“Oh my God, there’s a lot (of people,)” said Odalys Tapia of the line wrapped around JCPenney at Northfield.

“I’ve been waiting here since eleven in the morning,” said Oswaldo Rojo, who was second in line.

JCPenney’s 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day opening was an even earlier opening than the store had the year before, said Lorena Harrington, a JCPenney general manager.

“We have deals for the entire family going on throughout the building,” Harrington told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

Patrons’ patience paid off. Some walked out thrilled with their jewelry purchases.

“Some beautiful earrings,” one young woman said, who was shopping with her mother. “[They were] $20. So, a great deal.”

Other shoppers filled the bustling grocery aisles and filled their carts with food fit for a turkey day feast.

“I got a little pecan pie and some paper plates,” said Henry Rivera, who was heading home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. “Thank God for another year.”

Some stores, like JCPenney, stay open all night and throughout Black Friday.

Other stores open on Thanksgiving Day take an overnight break. Best Buy, for example, will close at 1 a.m. and reopen Friday morning at 8 a.m.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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