"We've been busy. We opened at about 5 o'clock and we had about 100 people standing in line", said the store's director Bob Ambrose.
Consumers in San Francisco led the rest of the country with over 2.3 million online transactions, followed by over 954,000 in New York City, more than 415,000 in Dallas and 389,000 in Houston by 10:30 pm ET, according to payments processor First Data Corp, which collects data from about 1 million United States merchants. Many major stores, including Walmart, Best Buy and Macy's, start their blockbuster deals on Thanksgiving evening, which has thinned out the Friday crowds. Through 10 a.m. ET on Black Friday, Adobe pegged ecommerce spending at $643 million, up 28% from last year's pace.
"Sometimes you just have to try things on and part of it is the fun of coming out on Black Friday", Eileen said.
Susan McKimmy of Kinsman wandered into a new rare gift store, GIO, while waiting for a friend, saying she was "not much of a shopper".
The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, is expecting holiday retail sales to increase by as much as 4.8 percent from a year ago for a total of US$720.89 billion.
Its popularity has meant Britain's Christmas trading season now has three peaks ― around Black Friday, the week up to December 25 and the post-Christmas sales.
Black Friday is nonetheless expected to be the biggest shopping day of the year, according to ShopperTrak, a technology company. The firm expects overall Black Friday sales to top US$23 billion this year, up from US$21 billion last year.
This is happening more and more as retailers like Walmart Inc and Amazon.com Inc sell both online and through stores, making winning the transaction more important than where it occurs, retail consultants and analysts said.
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But some families stick by their Black Friday traditions.
"Today, we just got out and got here".
Walmart, Target and other large retailers are sending workers throughout their stores to check out customers with mobile devices. They have always been devotees of Black Friday deals and for years braved the crowds and chaos.
Target also is offering free two-day shipping on "hundreds of thousands of items" ordered online with no minimum purchase or membership required.
In terms of small-to-medium merchants, Shopify, with 600,000 ecommerce sellers on its platform, reported more than $250 million in sales on Thanksgiving, with more than $465,000 per minute at the peak or $17 million per hour being logged. "We are shopping for toys on Amazon this year as well".
Other deals included: * An H&M store in Manhattan offered 30 per cent off everything in-store and online.
Indeed, in the survey taken by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, a majority 53.9 percent of the respondents said the main reason they would not shop over the Thanksgiving weekend was: "I don't enjoy the experience".