HOUSTON --Cue the holiday music, showcase those deals and rev up the registers, this year, the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season is starting a day early.

Some consumers are planning to put aside their turkey legs to get a leg up on shopping.

It s all about saving money, too, said Sears customer Loretta Warren. I gotta be wise with my dollar.

Warren will be walking the aisles at Sears this Thursday.

From 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. I love it. I m going to be here, she said.

The retail chain is just one of many stores opening up a lot earlier than in years past.

While Sears opens at 7 a.m. Thursday, Toys R Us opens its doors at 10 p.m. Thursday and Old Navy is opening at 12 a.m. Friday.

First of all, they have to make news and doing what you did last year, which was opening really early on Friday, isn t news anymore because everyone is doing it, said UH Bauer College of Business marketing professor Betsy Gelb.

Gelb said the question will be: Will this rob sales from Friday, or add to the pot?

All we may get Thursday are the people that are worried about parking on Friday, if you think about it. And they might buy a couple of things and not hit the stores on Friday, she said.

If you do hit the stores either Thursday or Friday, don t forget your phone. This year there are several new applications you can download on your cell phone that can help you maneuver your way to holiday shopping heaven.

Also, watch out for the steals and deals. Stores are bombarding consumers with ads right now. They re great, but just know to get them, go early and armed with patience.

I guess my only warning is: parking Friday will be awful, said Gelb.

Which Loretta Warren says doesn t matter much to her.

I m willing to do whatever. If we have to stand in line, we ve done that before for my mama s computer. I m willing to do it, said Warren.

Tis the season for great deals.

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