Crowds hit stores for Black Friday deals

This year, shoppers were able to snag their Black Friday deals earlier than ever.

Crowds have been manageable. No one seemed to be stressing out about the economy. Bargain hunters didn't want to miss a deal the day after Thanksgiving.

Shoppers flocked to Woodfield Mall with some arriving at 4 am to fight the crowds.

"There's been some interesting run-ins with some interesting people, shopper Jade Dash said. "We're getting bulldozed. Yeah we're holding our own."

For many people like Patricia Flores of Chicago,this day of shopping has become a yearly tradition.

"It's just a girl thing," Flores said. "Me and my sister-in-law, we've been doing it for the last four years so it's not any particular reason. It's our girls day. We leave our families at home and we got out and just hang out."

Macy's on State Street had a first-ever midnight opening with door-buster sales that lasted until 1 p.m.

"(There was) a lot of interest in boots which is not surprising because it's Chicago and certainly coats whether it was fashion or functional coats and jewelry," said Linda Piepho, vice president and general manager of Macy's on State Street.

The National Retail Federation expects 152 million people to hit stores this weekend. That's up 10.1 percent from last year.

With the unemployment rate hovering at around 9 percent, people still flocked to stores like Zara on Michigan Avenue, where crowds waited outside for the doors to open.

At Kmart on Elston, shoppers were bumping into each other at 5 in the morning.

The Apple store on Michigan Avenue has been packed and then there's Best Buy, where 42-inch Sharp televisions sold for as little as $200.

"We dropped off our car for repairs and we came here and ended up buying a television set," said shopper Frank Ford.

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