Shoppers hit the malls to snag Black Friday deals

NEW YORK — The busiest shopping day of the year is here. Black Friday customers are flooding stores and malls across the country in search of great deals. Thanks to a booming economy, analysts expect Americans to spend more than a trillion dollars this holiday season.

Black Friday started on Thanksgiving Thursday for shoppers at Macy’s flagship store in New York City. It’s a growing trend that turns Thanksgiving weekend into a five day shopping holiday.

“For the entire weekend, we’re expecting more than 164 million consumers to go out and shop with about 70 percent of those shopping specifically on Black Friday,” said Katherine Kullen with the National Retail Federation.

Many waited for hours in long lines to snag a deal while others hit the malls.

Big box stores like Best Buy, Target and Walmart are featuring deep discounts to draw customers. Other retailers like JcPenney are offering special promotions like a $500 coupon.

Shopping together on Black Friday is a family tradition for Treva Brown and her mom.

“It’s just for us to get together and you know, do something fun, get out of the house.”

The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend about $1,007 this holiday season. That’s up 4.1 percent from last year’s spending of $967 dollars.  And that’s music to retailers’ ears. Sales this year are expected to be nearly five percent higher than last year.

Consumers are also expected to spend about $5.9 billion online Friday – ahead of Cyber Monday.