EFERio de Janeiro

Thousands of Rio de Janeiro residents spent the night outside Guanabara Supermarkets to be first in line when the doors opened Friday, the first day of the Brazilian chain's annual sale.

Though the sale lasts 40 days, some shoppers arrived as early as 3.00 am out of fear that the most steeply discounted goods would sell out quickly.

Some 1.2 million people flocked to the chain's 26 superstores in Rio de Janeiro state during the first three days of last year's sale.

Spokespeople for the company told Efe that the 26th edition of Anniversary Guanabara could draw as many as 1.5 million people over its opening three days.