Valley retailers bracing for strong Black Friday sales

Black Friday is the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Retailers expect a long line of shoppers on a mission looking for big discounts, although not everyone will wake up for the early bird sales, like Linda Burke of Harlingen.

"Its a little chaotic but try to get there early," said Burke.

Prices were expected to roll back at Wal-Mart.

The discount giant promised to match the competition's price on everything.

Just bring a cheaper ad with you, according to Brownsville store manager Tino Vidaurri.

So, why the early start on the after-Thanksgiving savings?

"We found out our customers would rather stay up late on Thanksgiving than get up early so they're going to get a jump on sales at ten and stay up later."

Wal-Mart slashed the price tag on 32" flat screens to $188.

Another hot buy was the X-Box Kinect for $199.

There was also a special blue colored WII available only at Wal-Mart.

"We brought layaway back for our toys and electronics for our customers which has been very helpful for our Valley customers because they can put it on layaway, hold on to it, take it out by December 16."

There will also be extended holiday hours and the usual free shipping at a lot of stores if you spend enough.

Best Buy turned up the heat on the competition.

The 'Geek Squad' ships everything free.

Tablets are a quick sell this year less than $200.

Laptops are available for around $350.

Best Buy also has a price match guarantee.

Small appliances are offered for around $10 at JC Penney.

"That is a heck of a deal," said Harlingen store Assistant Manager Luis Gonzalez.

"We will be opening at 4:00 a.m. to allow our associates to enjoy their families the day before and also to get some sleep before we go into the rush."

Managers at Target say to keep two things in mind when you're out shopping for the holidays: stay calm and when you're out looking for the perfect gift, remember what the holidays are all about.

Target joins a list of stores opening at midnight with toys and electronics, like a 40" flat screen TV for $265.

The store will also match deals.

Back to Burke who will be avoiding the long lines this year offered advice to bargain hunters.

"If you go in the night before and hide your stuff in the corner and then run to your pile the next day. That's the best strategy I think. I'd rather pay full price than camp out and sleep in my own bed," said Burke.

If you've ever slept-in on a Black Friday, you know it may be harder to find a big discount after all the 'good stuff' is sold out.

Like the saying goes, 'the early bird gets the worm.'

Meanwhile, many stores will keep the sales going into next week with Cyber Monday offering even bigger discounts online.

Here are some helpful links when planning your Black Friday shopping trip: