Bargain hunters flocked to stores late Thursday and overnight Friday, searching for deals on big screen televisions, video games and toys while fretting about their own shaky economic well-being. Some stores, looking to grab as big a piece as possible of what is expected to be a middling holiday shopping season pushed post-Thanksgiving openings into Thursday evening or opened at midnight for the first time in years, getting a jump start on “Black Friday,” the traditional beginning to the US holiday shopping season. The strategy appeared to be working, judging from the 300 people who were lined up at a Toys R Us store on Long Island, New York before it opened at 9 p.m. on Thursday, while shoppers and employees at other stores said the crowds were bigger than in the past. Shoppers were looking for bargains, but customers like James McBreaty were just what retailers wanted — those who will also buy things beyond the “doorbuster” deals that retailers offer to entice customers. “We came for the deals but we were just discussing if we will buy things that aren’t discounted,” McBreaty, 32, a paralegal who was waiting with his wife Nicole, said. “Most likely the entire store…
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