KENTWOOD, MICH. (WZZM) - The Black Friday rush is on.
Millions of holiday shoppers are waiting in line, going online, and rushing to stores to find the best deals. Retailers are offering some of the biggest bargains in years.
In West Michigan, dozens of people lined up for special Thanksgiving day deals at the JC Penney in Woodland Mall. It's the third year in a row the chain store opened its doors a day before Black Friday.
Besides store sales, JC Penney was also giving away coupons, including one for 500 dollars off a purchase.
At 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, the line outside the store looked like something you'd see on Black Friday.
"We like that it's open on Thanksgiving, thanks to all the people that are working," said one shopper.
One family from out of town is feeling extra lucky with JC Penney giving them a chance to win big.
"We want to get the free gift card, we're going to get the $100 one, we just know it, the Santa hat gives us luck," said one woman wearing a Santa hat.
"I heard they are going to be giving coupons when we come in, that's why we got here early," said another shopper.
Every customer gets a $10 off coupon and there are two $100 off prizes.
"One lucky shopper today will get $500 off a 500 dollar purchase, so that's really exciting," says Karen Bowyer, general manager of JC Penny at Woodland Mall. "For the last three years, we've opened on Thanksgiving Day and as you can see our customers have responded whole heartedly."
"I usually come on black Friday but never come on Thursday or anything like that," says one shopper.
"This is the first time I've come out for sales, usually it's at night, so I like it," says another shopper.
However, one woman told us she'd rather the big shopping day wait until Black Friday.
"I would prefer it would be on Friday, make Thanksgiving Thanksgiving and then shop on Friday, but since it's not we just go with it," she said.
For those who want to do Black Friday shopping too, JC Penney will be giving away more coupons at 6 a.m. on Friday.
"We have a hotel, we're going to shop and shop, sleep, and shop and shop some more," said one woman.
This year, some major retailers including Barnes and Noble, Costco, Nordstrom, Dillard's and Sam's Club are taking a break on Thanksgiving day by keeping their doors closed.
Still, more than 137 million Americans are expected to shop this weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.