Nov. 25, 2011 at 11:39 AM ET
While many retailers got a jump on Black Friday sales by opening early — or even just staying open overnight — some ran afoul of local blue laws.
National ads claimed that stores like Wal-Mart, Toys 'R Us and others would open as early as 9 p.m. Thursday. But Maine's blue laws wouldn't let them open before midnight.
A shift manager at a Wal-Mart store in Brunswick told NBC station WCSH of Portland that even though signs were posted all week warning customers about the discrepancy, a crowd of shoppers still showed up early, and some of them got angry when the store didn't open. But mainly, most customers took the delay in stride, he said.
Nine retailers in the Chesterfield Commons shopping center in Chesterfield, Mo., meanwhile, were issued summonses for violating a local ordinance that prohibits stores in the development from opening before 6 a.m., NBC station KSDK of St. Louis reported.
Samantha Short of Warwick, R.I., said the Rhode Island law that kept stores closed all day Thursday was probably good thing.
"Why gloss over Thanksgiving?" she asked NBC station WJAR of Providence. "It's such a great holiday to celebrate everything that we're blessed with and that we're thankful for."