Black Friday early, chaotic as holiday season begins

November 23, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Shoppers are slowly making their way back home after spending the day bargain shopping.

It's the earliest start to the holiday shopping season and people waited in line for hours.

When the doors opened they charged in, racing to get their savings.

"I know there are a lot of great deals it's when I do my shopping," said Black Friday shopper Yesenia Guajardo.

Malls and stores opened up on Thursday and began to offer major discounts to bring in customers early.

Woodfield Mall, the largest in the state, opened their doors at midnight for the first time ever and it was at or near full capacity all day long.

"It's above our expectations," said Woodfield Mall General Manager Phillippe Strich. "We were prepared for it, it's something we're always ready for."

So what were people waiting for?

Hot ticket items included electronics and clothing.

"I needed an outfit for (Saturday) so he decided to take me shopping and we came here," said Myra Villegas.

Customers didn't waste any time taking advantage of it all.

"You save a lotta money," shopper LaShonda Grace said. "I haven't even spent a whole $100 yet!"

Savings were being offered everywhere. Along Michigan Avenue, stores targeted tourists from around the globe.

"So we're seeing year two of a strong international uptick in shoppers," said John Chikow of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.

Parking lots were jam-packed at stores all across Chicagoland.

People abandoned their Thanksgiving plans early to get a piece of the Black Friday savings pie.

The general manager also said the good sales day they had Friday is a good indicator of what's in store for the remainder of the holiday shopping season.

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