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We Followed Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly on Thanksgiving Night (PHOTOS)

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The tents have been put away. The doors are open. The excitement is upon us. Yes, the holiday shopping season is officially in full swing.

The annual Black Friday frenzy started Thursday night with hundreds of hot deals at Best Buy stores across the country and online at BestBuy.com. Many customers waited in line outside of stores for hours — if not days — to score some of the top doorbusters as soon as the doors opened at 5 p.m.

We stopped by our store in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where CEO Hubert Joly was on hand to help kick things off. Here are a few highlights from the night.

 

•Employees handed out the tickets that were required to buy certain doorbuster items. There were only as many tickets distributed as items available, ensuring customers could have peace of mind knowing they’d get the deal they had been patiently waiting for.
Employees handed out the tickets that were required to buy certain doorbuster items. There were only as many tickets distributed as items available, ensuring customers could have peace of mind knowing they’d get the deal they had been patiently waiting for.

 

Employees handed out the tickets that were required to buy certain doorbuster items. There were only as many tickets distributed as items available, ensuring customers could have peace of mind knowing they’d get the deal they had been patiently waiting for.
Hubert chatted with customers outside the store about an hour before it opened, saying “Thank you for being here.”

 

Hubert posed for selfies with some of the shoppers waiting in line.
Hubert posed for selfies with some of the shoppers waiting in line.

 

Hubert rallied the store’s employees minutes before the doors opened, encouraging them to take the time to engage with customers and learn about which products best meet their needs.
Hubert rallied the store’s employees minutes before the doors opened, encouraging them to take the time to engage with customers and learn about which products best meet their needs. “You’re not just going to sell products tonight, you’re going to make a big difference in people’s lives,” Hubert said. “I want you to know how thankful I am, and all of my colleagues are, for what you do.” Employees responded with loud cheers of “All in!”

 

Hubert greeted customers as they entered the store at 5 p.m. and helped direct them to the products they were looking for. The Eden Prairie store was the first of six stores he visited Thursday night.
Hubert greeted customers as they entered the store at 5 p.m. and helped direct them to the products they were looking for. The Eden Prairie store was the first of six stores he visited Thursday night.

 

Shoppers snatched up some great deals on traditional Black Friday favorites like TVs, laptops and video game consoles, as well as emerging technology such as drones and smart home devices. (Ever wonder how Best Buy picks which deals go in the ad? We found out.)
Shoppers snatched up some great deals on traditional Black Friday favorites like TVs, laptops and video game consoles, as well as emerging technology such as drones and smart home devices. (Ever wonder how Best Buy picks which deals go in the ad? We found out.)

 

Employees were prepared and excited to provide great customer service. All Best Buy stores held practice “dry runs” last weekend to ensure Black Friday weekend is safe, organized and fun.
Employees were prepared and excited to provide great customer service. All Best Buy stores held practice “dry runs” last weekend to ensure Black Friday weekend is safe, organized and fun.

 

There are plenty of great deals still available throughout this weekend. Most Best Buy stores reopened at 8 a.m. on Friday for a second round of Black Friday doorbusters, and most deals are also available online at BestBuy.com.