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Walmart, Target Strike Thanksgiving Gold

Walmart and Target customers proved they could have their turkey and eat it too.

While some shoppers shunned brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day, the nation’s two largest discount chains reported blistering e-commerce sales on the national holiday, with an extra helping of CE.

Walmart CE chief Laura Phillips said on Friday that Thanksgiving proved to be the company’s second-highest online sales day to date, second only to Cyber Monday 2013. Popular items included video games, prepaid mobile phones and TVs.

In stores, tablets and TVs were the top two sellers she said, drawing long lines that snaked through the aisles. Video gaming placed fifth, behind sheets and children’s apparel. In total, more than 22 million customers came out on Thanksgiving evening for two separate rounds of doorbuster deals.

Meanwhile, Target declared Thanksgiving its biggest online sales day ever as of Friday, with revenue rocketing more than 40 percent. CE led the e-commerce parade with such top-sellers as the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini, Nikon L330 camera, Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones and a Sony PlayStation 4 bundle.

At its stores, hundreds and sometimes thousands of customers queued up for the 6 p.m. openings, and once inside would buy with gusto: During the first hour Target sold 1,800 TVs and 2,000 video games per minute, driven by deals on a 40-inch Element TV and Xbox One consoles.

 “I’m encouraged by the early results,” said Target chairman/CEO Brian Cornell – which is sure to ensure an even earlier Thanksgiving start next year.