US shoppers formed long lines at store checkout counters on Black Friday to snap up deep discounts on clothing and electronics, offering evidence that a healthy economy and rising wages are translating into stronger consumer spending at the start of retailers' make-or-break holiday season.
The Grand Central Mall in Vienna had some foot traffic as stores opened up at 6 a.m.
Many shoppers sought out air fryers, which do not use oil to deep fry food and Instant Pots.
Jaki Montanez and Alysia Montanez dressed for the occasion - and the early morning hour - in festive onesie pajamas as they strolled the mall early Friday. As of 7 a.m. PST on Black Friday (the latest data available as of writing), online spending was at $643 million, a 27.8 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017.
USA retailers are relying on consumers spending big on Black Friday.
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It's evidence that a healthy economy and rising wages are translating into stronger consumer spending at the start of retailers' make-or-break holiday season.
But with stores now opening on Thanksgiving evening, the typical rush seen on the morning of Black Friday has split up.
Electronics retailers such as Best Buy saw the most number of transactions, followed by department stores such as Macy's, according to the data.
But some families stick by their Black Friday traditions.
The American tradition is gaining a foothold in Canada, and a survey indicates that while 29 percent of Quebecers went shopping on this day in 2015, 43 percent hoped to do so in 2018.
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"Black Friday isn't as big of a deal back home", Ms. Jackson, a 27-year-old tax adviser, said while shopping for lingerie and pyjamas at Victoria's Secret.
Retailers have also been introducing new technology to make it easier to shop inside their stores. Kohl's has a new feature on its mobile app that lets customers take photos of products anywhere and find similar items at the department store. And customers, frustrated with long checkout lines, can check out at Walmart and other stores with a salesperson in store aisles.
Stores are also offering deals on big-ticket items, like tablets and phones, which are some of Walmart's best sellers so far. It said gamers picked up video game consoles like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
It would have been easier to turn on their computers over plates of leftover turkey and take advantage of the Black Friday deals most retailers now offer online.
"The toy section at J.C. Penney looks good and they have stocked more toys at Target too, but Toys "R" Us going out of business is a big loss", she said. Police shot and killed the gunman.
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"I've never Black Friday-shopped before", she said, as employees delivered her bag minutes later. Shoppers below drifted peacefully, set to a soundtrack of holiday music.